When Veronica met her now ex-boyfriend, she was young, still just in high school. He was older and cool.
He took three years of Veronica’s life away from her, trapping her into a cycle of abuse. Every time she left to be with her mom in a different state, or with a friend, he crawled back into her life.
He sent her to the hospital after throwing an ashtray at her head. He choked her until she passed out. Friends saw the bruises, they spoke up, but her boyfriend was insidious and she was dependent on him. He threatened to kill her. He took her money from her paychecks.
“I remember seeing girls in those situations in high school and thinking ‘how could you stay with him?’ but you never think it’s going to be you until it is,” Veronica said.
Finally, she found a good opportunity – a job at Quicken Loans. It paid her more than any previous jobs and enabled her to leave her boyfriend. She met a co-worker who agreed to let Veronica live with her. But trouble soon followed.
But, her co-worker introduced her to a new friend group, one that took her down a path of drugs, alcohol, and partying. This was her lifestyle, making it to work but sleeping on the couches of her “friends” and diving deeper into a hard-partying life.
Until one day Veronica looked in the mirror and realized how much she had physically changed. She was gaunt, she looked older than her years. Drugs and alcohol were making their mark on her body. Veronica realized she had replaced one terrible thing for another, her boyfriend for this lifestyle.
She left those friends, spent one night out on the street before a Google search lead her to Covenant House Michigan.
“Coming to Covenant House was one of the best things to happen to me , I feel so blessed to have been here,” Veronica said. “God works in mysterious ways, he is why I ended up here.”
Veronica cited the structure, the curfews, the rules, which helped her break out of her lifestyle into a more structured routine. But most of all, she talked about Ms. Campbell, Covenant House Michigan’s long-time Shelter Manager, as the second mom she needed.
“Ms. Campbell let me pray and grow as a woman. She let my faith in God grow.”
While here she rode her bike to work at Quicken Loans or took the bus. She was able to save enough money to buy a car, and then furniture for a future apartment. Veronica picked up classes she had dropped because of her boyfriend.
Veronica “graduated” Covenant House Michigan, lives in Detroit and was promoted at Quicken Loans.
In the end, Veronica knows it all happened for a reason.
“I am grateful for what happened to me and most importantly, for the Cov. Without all this, I would never know who God was. I know my purpose now, it’s to spread God’s love and help people,” she said.