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I Want to Be a Better Mom — Meet Karla

At age 11, Karla was placed in a mental health care facility because her foster caregivers were concerned about her behavior. “I wasn’t crazy,” Karla said. “It’s just that I had no hope. I felt like all the doors were closed, that there was no help. There was no one out there to say ‘Karla, it’s ok,’ or ‘Karla, you’ll be fine.’ It felt like there was no way out. I didn’t know what was going to happen tomorrow. I didn’t know if it was going to be the same or even if I was going to live.”

The mental stress started when Karla was placed in foster care at age 10. She grew up with 12 siblings in an overcrowded home. Her mother was a victim of abuse, and Karla witnessed many bouts of severe domestic violence. When the authorities removed her from her home, she became rebellious. “It was a struggle,” she said.

At 18, she left the group home she’d lived at most of her teen years. “I needed to find myself, I needed to find my sisters, I needed to find my real family,” Karla said. She ended up bouncing from friend’s house to friend’s house with no real place to call her own.

She met a young man who soon became her boyfriend. He invited her to live with his family in their small, one-bedroom home. She was accustomed to overcrowded conditions, but it was difficult for everyone. After they welcomed their second child, someone notified child services with accusations of Karla being an unfit mother. During the investigation, they removed her children from her care. She was devastated. She did everything they asked of her including parenting classes and a domestic violence awareness course. That’s when she met the social workers who would help guide her to Mosaic Gardens at Huntington Park.

“They wanted us to have a home where the children could have their own rooms, but I didn’t know how I was supposed to make that happen,” said Karla. They were overjoyed when they received word that they had qualified for a home at Mosaic Gardens at Huntington Park. “I had no idea it would be a three-bedroom home,” she said. “When I walked in the first time, I asked, ‘I can actually call this my home?’ My kids ran from room to room. They felt like they were home.”

Because of Welcome Home, there were new beds and dressers for each family member as well as new pots and pans, utensils, and dishes to set on a table with chairs. Karla and her family are home.

“My dream, my desire is to be a better mom, and to keep my kids safe” Karla said. “I want to learn how to be an independent woman. I don’t want to depend on social workers all the time. I want to depend on myself.”

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