My name is Qunita Tyler and this is my story…

I am 26 years old and have been in New London most of my life. I am also a mother of two soon to be three. Around 2014, after I had my daughter, I started working towards independence by going to a two-year program form homeless families called Thames River Family Program in Norwich (TRFP). Working with them, I learned many skills and how to maintain an apartment. With a little over a year, I was housed in my own apartment. Finally, my son and daughter had a space to call our own. I became the boss of my life, worked to maintain my household without someone holding my hand, and paid my bills on my own.

Then having consistent childcare for my kids while I was at work became more difficult. So I stopped working for a bit. During that time, I felt I was missing companionship and started a relationship with someone I had known from school. The relationship quickly became toxic and dangerous for me and for my kids. I ended up losing my kids, who went into the Department of Children and Families (DCF) care in October of 2016. My daughter went to Virginia to live with her father and my son was placed in foster care.

It was then that had to start therapy and begin to work on things so I could get my kids back home with me. Sound Community Services came into my life and became my support system. They told me about a young adult program called AXS, where I was able to talk about my troubles free and get wonderful and honest feedback from people that really care about bettering yourself. Sound gave me a lot of tough love, but it got me to where I needed to be. They made sure I made it to my appointments, gave me work advice, and did so much for me. Because of the support of Sound and the people in AXS, I was able to get my son back within fifteen months.

I was so worried that becoming pregnant with my third child would have prevented me from getting my son back from DCF. But I learned that a being open and honest about how I am continuing to improve myself goes a long way. I am still involved in therapy, participate in different AXS groups and activities, and in keeping a positive atmosphere. I am now more empowered and more involved with my son’s education and in community groups that help to support me as a parent.

I grow more and more every day. Now, I am committed to giving to help others. I want others to know that you are not alone. You are not perfect. We make choices that can damage our lives, but it doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around for the better.

My story is about how I was able to rebuild myself with Sound and the AXS Program. But I had to want to it. I had to want to live better. I hope my story helps to point you on the right path. Thank you for listening.

For all the young mothers out there, here are some resource that have helped me in my journey. I hope they help you too. And if you’re in the area, please come by AXS.  I’d love to meet you and show you around.

Thames River Family Program
1 Thames River Pl, Norwich, CT 06360
(860) 887-3288
trfp.org

CareNet Pregnancy Resource Center
492 Montuak Ave, New London, CT 06320
(860) 448-2990

Safe Futures
16 Jay St, New London, CT 06320
(860) 701-6000

Step Up New London And Hearing Youth Voices
230 State St, New London, Ct 06320