From Victim to Advocate

by | Feb 17, 2017 | Success Stories | 0 comments

If it wasn’t for the exceptional counselors at The Haven of RCS, Shannon Turner admits she might have stayed in what had become a violent marriage.

Terrified and confused, a co-worker encouraged Turner to seek help by calling The Haven of RCS’ 24-hour crisis hotline.

“She truly listened to me, told me I was not alone and taught me about safety planning,” said Turner. “She told me that it could get better, and she helped me find the courage to change my situation.”

Within a few days, Turner and her three children, then ages 2, 4 and 6, sought refuge at The Haven safe house.  Arrested on felony charges, her husband would eventually spend several years in jail while Turner worked to rebuild her life.

The long journey of starting over was nothing short of courageous. Turner was also diagnosed with cancer shortly after her arrival at The Haven. She persevered with the help of RCS counselors who continually assured her that she had the power to improve her situation.

You Provided a Shelter From the Storm

Your support to Pinellas Community Foundation made it possible for long time grant recipient RCS to provide Turner with more than a safe shelter but also the tools to get back on her feet.

“We probably wouldn’t have eaten without the RCS Food Bank,” Turner recalled of those lean years.

Escaping with only a few bags of personal essentials, the RCS Thrift Store helped Turner procure a new wardrobe and gather necessary items for her children. RCS counselors also helped Turner navigate childcare, job placement support and medical treatment all while providing her with the emotional support needed to create a healthier foundation for her family.

PCF Donors Change Lives

A grant recipient since 2003, RCS has received over $250,000 in Pinellas Community Foundation operating and capital improvement grants for critical needs such as new furniture, a walk-in freezer, major building repairs and computers for a job center.

“I know that RCS’s support came with a cost, and that you paid that debt,” said Turner. “It’s because of you I came out of some very rough times, and it has gotten better. Your support brings help and hope, allowing others to not give up on their dreams. Thank you!”

Today, Turner is cancer-free and happily remarried. Her children are thriving, and Turner has dedicated her life to helping other women escape domestic violence. An accomplished motivational speaker and published author, Turner now helps RCS counsel other women coming into the shelter that saved her life.

Learn more about how you can be a beacon of hope for women like Turner.