“Dear New Directions” – Sarah’s Story

The following letter is from Sarah Sidor, a former client at New Directions’ Women’s Shelter. Sarah secured a permanent, positive solution to homelessness this summer and before leaving our shelter, she wrote this beautifully composed letter to share her story and say thank you. (Watch the video to listen to an abbreviated version of Sarah’s story or continue reading below).

Dear New Directions,

This is my letter to you, thanking you all for being my guardian angels. My experience as a resident of the New Directions Women’s Shelter (as well as Snug Harbor Transitional Home has been so wonderful. It has been one blessing after another. I will forever be indebted to you – this program has changed my life.

I came into the Women’s Shelter on December 27, 2019. I didn’t have much more than the clothes on my back and the simple yet difficult desire to mend the broken parts of my life. I was “alive” but I wasn’t “living”… I had no money, no job, no transportation, no change of clothes, no food, no glasses, no teeth, and no home. Needless to say, I had no joy, no pride, no happiness, no confidence, and certainly no clue how to fix any of it. I was in desperate need of every single type of donation there was.

You welcomed me in. You fed me, you gave me clothing, a bed to sleep in, a kitchen to cook in. You gave me a clean shower and every single toiletry I needed. You helped me get glasses, and set up with a doctor. You gave me peace of mind that I wasn’t alone… and a caseworker who helped me design a goal plan – Thank you Aubree and JoAnn!! (Aubree and JoAnn were Sarah’s case managers).

You gave me guidance. You gave me hope. You gave me a place to call “home”.

It has been one and a half years. I have had the same job this whole time (since Jan 1st, 2020 – five days after entering the shelter). I have a bank account. I have more clothing / accessories / toiletries than any woman needs. I have my Driver’s Permit (which is extremely significant of my growth because driving has been a life-long phobia of mine). I have wonderful healthy people in my life – people who trust me, have faith in me, and encourage me to be the best “me” I can be. I worked and saved and I paid to get my teeth fixed! The List could go on and on. None of these things would have ever been possible for me without the help of New Directions Women’s Shelter. Words cannot describe how truly grateful I am to you for giving me the opportunity to finally get my life back.

My journey is far from over. But I have a strong foundation in place… and a newfound excitement to continue setting and achieving goals. Thank you to all of you. My testimony is genuine proof that this program can, and DOES, save lives. It saved mine.

God bless you all.


Sarah Sidor

Your gift to New Directions can help change more lives like Sarah’s. Give TODAY to help those in crisis through basic needs, connections to resources, and community support. With your support, we can continue make a difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness, poverty, and addiction.

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