WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita woman is sharing her inspirational story about the nearly five years she spent living at the Wichita Children’s Home.
“Your situation is not who you are,” said Satara Thomas.
Satara Thomas, 26, lives by those words thanks in big part to the Wichita Children’s Home and its transitional living program called Bridges.
“I don’t even want to imagine what I would be like if I didn’t have Bridges,” Thomas said.
Bridges is a three-phase transitional, independent-living program which provides housing, counseling, education, life-skills coaching and vocational preparation for people ages 16 to 21.
Before Thomas entered the Bridges program, she lived in public housing with her single mother and two sisters.
“It was a struggle, a lot of struggling. We didn’t always have what we wanted, you know. We were poor basically,” she said.
When Thomas was 14 years old, her mother died.
“It was really earth shattering waking up the next day and oh, this wasn’t a dream,” Thomas said.
Thomas would then bounce from one relative’s home to another for the next three years.
“Then. . . I found out I was pregnant,” she said.
With only one pajama outfit and some wash cloths for her child, the 17-year-old mother knew she needed help and needed it fast. That’s when she turned to the Wichita Children’s Home.
“It was, you know, that support system,” Thomas said. “Bridges was that extra support.”
Thomas said the children’s home was a place of hope. She said it was a place where she and her daughter Ka’Maya could and would grow into a stable family. The pair lived on the home’s campus for about five years. Thomas said she will be forever thankful for the children’s home and the second chance at life the facility provided for her and Ka’Maya.
“You can break the cycle. It’s not hard. Be the person to break the cycle, so the next generation doesn’t have to go through what you went through,” Thomas said.
Thomas works two jobs and is studying at Wichita State University to become a social worker. She and her daughter now live in an apartment on their own.