When you heard about others making New Year’s resolutions did you look down and say to yourself, “Nothing will ever change?”   Maybe you felt as if there’s no hope or at least no hope for you.   First, you should know that 180 Turning Lives Around is here to support you and help you make choices that will bring your shadows into the light and bring the light into your shadows.   Like every change in your life before, this one that you’re seeking, one that is taking you toward choice and away from abuse, starts with a thought.  You have every right to have these thoughts, to have a life free from abuse and you have the right to dream.  What else should you know?  You have the right to take steps toward making your dream a reality.  For many, the first step, like the first of the new year, is a resolution.   At 180 (@180) we know it might take several tries, several phone calls, maybe even several visits before you make a change.  It’s okay. We’re proud of you and we admire your attempts to make your life better, the lives of your children safer, and the way you carry your hopes and dreams for them as if they too are precious.  We believe they are.

Our agency started out by helping others before we had an office, multiple sites for our programs, or even an emergency safe house. We know you have to start somewhere because we did also.  We can help you get started and we welcome you into our world.  We have an umbrella of services that will address most of your needs. And there’s one thing we can guarantee you, a new light in your day.  The road that stretches ahead holds the promise from the seed that we often call a resolution.  We put our hopes and dreams into the reality that is now 180 Turning Lives Around so that we could meet you to discuss your hopes and dreams and let you know that you don’t have to go down the road alone.  We understand what is at stake and how vulnerable you might feel.  New beginnings seem difficult at times, even fragile. But have you ever seen grass grow through cement?  The push of the new, tender growing grass is pretty mighty.  New growth is possible, change is possible and grass grows through cement all the time.  We did it and we know you can too. That’s why we’re here, why we believe in you and believe in your chances for a more secure life filled with dreams blossoming into new realities.

180 saved me

My mother and I stayed in the Safe House when I was 10. That was over twelve years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. She gathered up the courage to leave and we escaped our abuse once and for all. With a few belongings stuffed into suitcases and a large black trash bag of clothes, we fled. I was too young then to know all of the horrors of Mom’s life; as she did a good job protecting me from most, but not all of the violence. There were nights when I thought the screaming would never end and other nights when the silence was just too still. Fighting…arguments…hiding…her bandages. There was a darkness in our home, but mom and 180 changed all of that for me.
As I got older I learned that mom had spoken to 180 Court Advocates down at the Monmouth County Courthouse and she was able to obtain a restraining order. Meanwhile, 180’s emergency shelter kept us safe until mom found a better job and a place for us to live. As a child, I tackled the changes and challenges in our life by talking to 180 counselors. Also, mom and I took part in weekly creative arts therapy sessions for almost a year with the nicest and most caring staff. Little did I know then that this was 180’s Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program. The therapy helped me to cope with the changes in my family and the violence I had witnessed in our former home.
180 saved me. I’m not sure where mom and I would be now if it were not for 180. We never lost hope and 180 gave us the tools we needed to start anew. We continue to be optimistic about our future. Although 180 is part of our past, we will never forget…we carry them with us wherever we go.
Monmouth County
*names are changed to protect our survivors.