Rachel arrived in Brainerd by bus late on a Friday afternoon. She had recently escaped an abusive relationship, and though an order for protection was in place, safety was not yet found as her abuser had begun stalking her. Rachel had no supportive relationships in her hometown, and her closest family lived hours away. Her local Police Department recommended she stay at a women’s shelter and purchased her a bus ticket to get to the nearest one.
Although Rachel could only pack one bag to bring along, her small dog Rollo was definitely going, as he was her only source of comfort and strength. The shelter was expecting Rachel, but they were unable to accommodate the stay of a canine. Shelter staff then made a call to Bridges, in hopes of finding resources before area agencies closed for the weekend.
The Salvation Army was able to find and purchase several connecting bus tickets to get Rachel to the safety of her out of state family, but departure wasn’t until Monday morning. Finding a hotel room for her to stay in until then was no problem, however, once again they were not accepting of her canine companion, so alternate arrangements had to be made. To make matters worse, Rachel found out her bank account had been drained after trying to use her debit card to buy food.
It seemed like once one obstacle was passed a new one arose; but giving up wasn’t an option. Staff remained in contact with her throughout the weekend, ensuring her immediate needs were met and referring resources to help down the road, such as the Safe at Home program that would protect Rachel’s whereabouts by assigning a PO Box for her mail.
Bridges staff worked earnestly to ensure Rachel had the necessities she needed to get her to safety; not just food and shelter for her and her dog, but a person to talk to and ask questions when she had nowhere else to turn. Without your support, there’d be no where to call when situations like this arise. Thank you for helping us build bridges in the Brainerd Lakes Area!