At our recent Annual Awards Banquet, we were treated to the testimony of Latonia Tate. Latonia is an extraordinary young woman who traveled a long and broken road to Good Counsel. Pregnant and in a rehab center in Port Chester, New York, she was told she could not stay there while pregnant. She was scared and feeling pretty low, but those feelings didn’t last for long.
“Thank you for this opportunity to share my story because Good Counsel has meant the world to me.
In arriving at the Good Counsel Home in Oct of 2010, I believed I had nothing. When in fact I had so much more. I had God and the opportunity of a second chance. To meet and love so many different people. To live among a group of women with so much anger and struggles but yet so many similarities. Strong and powerful with no knowledge of our abilities.
I had so much baggage. I am a recovering addict and had lost my first two children to my father. I suffer from mental health issues. I got pregnant while in rehab and had nowhere to go. Afraid that I would have another one of my children taken. That is until my created path by God led me to their open doors. Then Good Counsel did not only become my home, but my children’s as well.
Discovering unimaginable parenting skills, cooking, preparing meals for my family, and keeping a schedule. The stability, consistency, guidance in the right path, self-esteem and strength I developed while living there I will always and forever be grateful for.
See, very few people know that Good Counsel is not only a program for women and children to obtain shelter but it is family, order, unity, nation, determination, aptitude, togetherness, encouragement, obedience, and neutrality. They represent a foundation, which magically appears as love.
I am happy to have had lived in their presence and I cry every day because I miss my family. They were not just staff, peers, case managers, et cetera, but aunts, mother, sisters, grandmothers, cousins, nieces, and nephews. I moved on from Good Counsel Nov 2012 and if anyone, I mean anyone asked if I could rewind back to a time in my whole life where would that be? I would have to honestly say back to that exact time when living in the Good Counsel home of Harrison, New York.
They encouraged me to embrace and acknowledge my poetry and music writing. Always giving me confidence. I still write to this day. I am living independently in my own apartment. My youngest son, who is three years old, and I live together. Every day I get him ready for daycare as I get ready for work.
I am facing a custody battle to be reunited with my two oldest. In sobriety four and a half years. I’m currently in school and working. I live today with the tools and abilities given to me by tremendous people. I now love God, myself, and others. I would like to give thanks to all the staff at Good Counsel who came and left most of all, Milagros’ Martinez and Elizabeth Docourt. I would like to thank Kimberly Thomas, House Manager Miss Faye, and all the staff and management of Good Counsel homes, thank you.
Please help Good Counsel too. Your help will mean the world to another pregnant mom who is struggling right now.
God bless you.”
Latonia now lives and works in Mount Vernon. She is extremely happy with her apartment, works hard, and is hoping to do even more creative work. Latonia’s journey is a beautiful illustration of just what love can do, through you, through your help and caring. God bless you. Thank you.
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