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Testimony for LIFE

Christopher Bell
Christopher Bell
May 18, 2022

Taren Wrighton’s family moved to the U.S from Barbados West Indies in the early 1900’s. Taren is an only child and was raised in Queens, NY. She graduated high school and attended York college studying psychology. After she completed Good Counsel’s program she moved up to Hudson Valley, NY where she and her daughter currently reside. Taren is one of many women who have had the benefit of Good Counsel's program and honored us with her testimony at this year's Ball For LIFE. Here is her story.

Hi, my name is Taren Wrightson. I arrived at Good Counsel Bronx home spring of 2004. I was 41 years old and pregnant. At the time I was working and living at the YWCA. I found out I was pregnant and was diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy. I had to leave my job and was told I could not bring my baby back to the facility because they were not insured to house children. I went to stay with a friend and that did not work out. I had since broken up with my child’s father and was pregnant and homeless.
Feeling alone and abandoned, I began to search online for help and found Good. I called the 1-800 helpline number and spoke with an Intake worker named Sabrina about my situation. She was an absolute blessing to me. She told me to come to GoodCounsel’s house in the Bronx and if they had to have me sleep on the couch,Good Counsel would make a way. I was blessed to be taken in and given a room of my own. In my early 40’s pregnant with mychild, I had to adaptto living with younger women who were also first time mtruggling tofind their way. It was challenging, but I adjusted to the operations of the program such as completing chores like cleaning the laundry room or preparing dinner meals and curfew. Thinking back, I was very vocal and complained a lot about minor things. Although I was an adult I didn’t have a clue. In time, I began to mature.
Good Counsel taught me gratitude and responsibility. The staff continuously showed compassion even when I was not receptive. I was taught great life skills including social skills on engaging with others, parenting how to properly care for my baby, health how to physically and mentally care for myself and the weekly religious instructions strengthened my faith and helped me cope. I value the lessons, it has impacted my life tremendously.
Shortly after having my daughter I transitioned out of Good Counsel and moved closer to my family. I remained a single mom and raised my daughter as best as I could using the tools I acquired at Good Counsel.  
Over the years I frequently reach out to the staff at Good Counsel just to say hello, share updates and pictures. Recently my daughter began to ask questions aboutGood Counsel, she wanted to visit the home. I was quite surprised and honored when I received a call asking if I would like to attend this year’s Ball for Life and of course I humbly obliged.
Good Counsel needs to exist because there is a housing crisis and many women are abandoned by the father of their children and don’t have any support. I pray Good Counsel continues to get the support needed to keep the doors open to help many more pregnant women.
The best part of my experience radiates through the success of my daughter Autumn who is now 17 years old graduating HS with a full scholarship to attend Vassar College in the fall to study chemistry and biology. She’s also being inducted into theNational Honor’s Society for the I’m so proud of her, Iwould not have been the Mher I am without the help of Good Counsel.  
As I’ve said many times “If it wasn’t for the lord and Good Counsel I don’t know where I would be now”.
I personally want to thank Mr. Bell, the staff at Good Counsel and the donors for caring about my daughter and me. I am forever grateful to have been given shelter, love, kindness and support in my time of need. Thank God Good Counsel exists and helps homeless mothers get on their feet.

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