CoralLee’s Story

CoralLee Looney was a victim of domestic violence. She moved to Fort Wayne from New Jersey with her ex-husband. Her parents are deceased, and she didn’t have any other family members to turn to. She went to the YWCA women’s shelter where she met Brightpoint family development case manager Jocelyn.

“[Brightpoint] was a godsend… I have five children. It’s rough trying to get everything financially stable,” CoralLee says.

At Brightpoint, CoralLee received Emergency Solutions Grant funds, which paid for her house rent for a year. With this assistance, she was able to put all her income toward taking care of her children and paying other expenses. She was even able to save some money. So once the assistance ended, she had a good stable foundation to continue on.

She was fortunate to have a temporary job that turned into permanent employment. She says her employer was so understanding of her situation and held her job for her while she transitioned from shelters to housing and getting her children situated.

“I really have no idea where I would be if I didn’t have the opportunity to do this for my kids. We’ve been here (in this house) for a year now, and everything is perfect. I’m so grateful.”

Besides the assistance that Brightpoint gave her, she was also impressed by all the connections that Jocelyn was able to help her with. She says she can’t believe how many resources are available in this community, but doesn’t know how someone would find them all without help like she got from Brightpoint.

“I was embarrassed to ask for help until I got hurt and didn’t really have a choice, but all I keep thinking is, ‘What if I would’ve ask sooner? If I would’ve just picked up the phone and called 2-1-1… everything would be different.'”

CoralLee regrets not asking for help sooner and encourages others to reach out if they need it, but she is still positive about her future. She wants to spend more time with her children and eventually wants to go to school to become a counselor or probation officer and help others.

But for now, she is just thankful to feel like her life is finally stable. Almost 30 years old, CoralLee says, “This is the first time in my whole adult life that I’m not struggling to pay my bills – living paycheck to paycheck.”

And she says she is quite sure she wouldn’t have been able to do it if it wasn’t for Brightpoint.