Scattered Sites Program Helps Single Mother Gain Independence
Although Alicia Fontenot was raised a Christian, it did not deter her from being a rebellious adolescent. She dropped out of high school, ran away from her home in San Antonio, Texas, and wound up in Las Vegas. It was there that Alicia met the father of her two sons. In relationships, she says she found herself tangled in a web of lies and deceit.
Fontenot was by definition a statistic: a single mother who wandered from home to home of family and friends with two young boys in tow. She was a high school dropout with no career or job, trying to survive on very little money. “I felt beaten and defeated,” Fontenot said. “I felt I failed my children and failed as a mother.”
A veil of mistakes haunted Fontenot, leaving her fearful of her own future, as well that of her growing boys. She knew she had to make a commitment to turn her life around and, taking a leap of faith, returned to San Antonio.
Shortly after moving back home, she heard about The Salvation Army’s programs for single mothers, connected with the San Antonio command’s Social Services Department, and was introduced to Bryan Shea, her Scattered Sites program case worker.
Within a few months of joining the program, Fontenot and her sons had a place to call home in a safe neighborhood. Her children received the opportunity to attend a good school and daycare. Fontenot earned her high-school diploma and now attends Northwest Vista College.
“Bryan and the program set me on the road to repairing my life by helping me set goals and obtain them,” she said. “I learned important financial skills – how to budget and save. I have embarked on achievements I thought were once impossible.”
Fontenot is also now happily employed at Chicago Bagel & Deli, a family-owned restaurant, which also provides her with new experiences in the culinary business. She has always had a passion for cooking and says her job gives her another grand opportunity to learn and grow. She hopes to someday own a restaurant herself.
As for her sons, they are healthy, vibrant and grateful for The Salvation Army’s Scattered Sites program.
“This program has reminded me of my abilities and my strength,” Fontenot said. “I regained my confidence and continue to strive to be a good mother. My family is living proof that trials and tribulations can bring you down but only you can decide to be counted out. All we need is a little help to restore our faith in God, humanity and ourselves. I pray The Salvation Army continues to save and change other families lives as it has done for me.”