Rainey finds success through transitional living program in East Tennessee
Rainey was tired when she reunited with Youth Villages’ Transitional Living Specialist Vickie Phillips. Only 21 years old, she bore the look of someone with responsibilities, the tired confidence of doing it herself. She took a moment to gather herself before going to get the older of her two children and muster the reserve of energy to make it through the next few hours before bedtime.
Rainey’s been out of the TL program for about a year. Since then, she’s begun management training at a local restaurant and juggles caring for two daughters with Luke, her husband.
Rainey’s struggled with commitment two previous times in the TL program, but TL Specialist Vickie Phillips never gave up on her. The third time, Rainey was in for the long haul.
“I’m a more practical type of counselor,” Vickie said. “I knew she was smart and needed someone there to keep her going in the right direction.”
Rainey registered for college, then worked with Vickie and found a job and a place to live. She had to leave school because of work and the children, but plans to return. Now, her husband and she are a team taking care of their children.
“We had to suck it up and pull together,” Rainey said. “It was hard to get it to work because we didn’t qualify for assistance, but things worked out in the end.”
Rainey was in foster care for nine months. Her biological father and her husband’s parents provide support for the children, but Rainey believes the TL program and Vickie helped her make significant steps toward independence and self-sufficiency.
“I always told her, ‘I can’t want it more than you do,’” Vickie said. “But she had it – that desire to do something more, and many in foster care don’t. She didn’t get into trouble and didn’t have any behavior issues.”
Even though she discharged from TL more than a year ago, Rainey and Vickie stay in contact with each other.
“She never gave up on me,” Rainey said of Vickie. “She kept pushing me to do more and accomplish more.”
Rainey’s husband has also played a huge role in Rainey’s successful transition as well.
“They did it,” Vickie said. “They pulled together and they’re working hard to make it work. Rainey is a great mother and I’m very proud of her.”