The first time Natasha’s father hurt her, he left marks on her arm and neck. But having been conditioned most of her life to accept abuse as the norm, she put up with it.
The second time, he left no visible signs of his abuse despite throwing her down a flight of stairs — but she persevered. And she stayed.
However, the third time he hurt her — hitting her so hard in the eye that it gushed blood — she decided she had had enough.
She was done with it and with him. She deserved more.
She deserved to be loved and appreciated and valued.
“I wasn’t going to do it anymore,” she said. “I had watched him do it to my mother, and I had watched him tear down women, including me, for years, but this was the last time.”
Initially when she left her dad’s house, Natasha went to live with her aunt. But after a relatively short stay, she found herself living in the foster care system.
“I was part of a very loving foster family, but when my foster parents divorced, I was looking for somewhere safe to go and that’s when I learned about Jacobs’ Place,”
“I filled out the application and met with my counselor, Curtisa, and she explained everything to me. It seemed like an easy program to excel in as long as you follow the rules, and I did.”
Natasha became part of the Jacobs’ Place family in April of 2015 and stayed in the program for 8 months before completing it.
With nowhere else to go, she rented a basement apartment on the Jacobs’ Place campus, paying rent while working and attending the Capitol School of Hair Design & Esthetics. In April of this year, she moved into her own place closer to school.
Once she completes the cosmetology side of her education, Natasha said she wants to continue with esthetics classes (facials, skin care, etc.) — making her more well-rounded in the profession and in her job hunt.
For Natasha, her arrival at Jacobs’ Place and the Omaha Home for Boys came at the perfect time in her life and on her path toward independence.
She said she recommends the program as a great resource in the community for anyone who needs refuge or just wants to make a fresh start.
“I learned so much here, and the staff is great to work with if you are willing to follow the rules,” she said. “If you stick with it, it can really help you. It definitely helped me.”