Meet the Faces of VOA Illinois: Janelle

Janelle hero


Janelle’s story is one of resilience, determination, and unwavering love for her children. Despite being a victim of extreme domestic violence and a drug problem in her household, Janelle never gave up on her dream of reuniting with her kids who were taken into foster care by VOA Illinois in 2019.

Janelle knew that she had to work hard to overcome the challenges she faced. She underwent therapy, domestic violence services, parenting classes, parenting coaching, substance abuse counseling, and psychological evaluation. She also found the strength to leave her abusive boyfriend and move into her own place. She found her own housing program and has been housed locally since March. She has been working two jobs to maintain her housing, and when she found her new apartment, she located a school and doctor for her children all on her own without asking for help.

Janelle’s four children are in two separate foster homes because two of her kids require special services due to their autism. Janelle has worked hard to maintain a strong bond with her children, and despite the challenges, she has been able to see them for overnight and weekend visits. VOA Illinois has provided Janelle with case management, beds and other household items, as well as parenting coaching, which has helped her along the way.

Janelle’s story is a testament to the power of perseverance and determination. Her children are her greatest motivation, and she has never lost sight of her dream to be reunited with them. Janelle’s journey has not been an easy one, but she has shown that with hard work, determination, and the necessary support, anything is possible. Janelle is a true inspiration, and her story serves as a reminder to us all that no matter what challenges we face, we can overcome them with a strong will and a never-give-up attitude.

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