Keeping Vigil: Hearth Homes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Keeping Vigil: Hearth Homes

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SPOKANE, Wash. - If you've lived long enough you know that life is not easy, nor is it fair. It's even harder when you don't have a support system to help you through those times.  

In this week's  'Keeping Vigil' KHQ's Stephanie Vigil introduces you to Hearth Homes, a sanctuary for women who have experienced extreme hardships in life with nowhere to turn. 

Hearth Homes especially helped Cherie Larsen.

Cherie grew up in the welfare system with her mother. She moved every six months. She has been to more than 20 schools. She watched her mom go through 4 husbands, and was dragged up and down the west coast. Cherie says her childhood was a series of unfortunate events.  

"No one had really taught me any life skills, or coping skills or how to handle life."

Her way of coping was turning to the bottle.

"I was an alcoholic. I had fallen on really, really, really hard times. My family fell apart, kind of came out from beneath me," Cherie said. And with no coping skill she kept spiraling downward.  

"I ended up living in my car. I was still working full time, but I was living in my car and then the car got impounded so I lost that. I had literally lost everything," Cherie recalled.

Cherie even lost custody of her oldest son. Now homeless and 4 months pregnant with her second child, Cherie found herself on the doorsteps of Hearth Homes.  

"They gave me the structure and stability that I needed to be compliant with the court system to rebuild my life."

Within the walls of Hearth Homes, new revelations and transformations happened for Cherie. Her old habits would be eventually be broken

"That's why I kept falling on my face. I couldn't build a structure. I didn't have the building blocks that I needed so that's where we started. We started with a foundation and when we built a foundation we started building walls," Cherie said.

The structure allowed her to gain more rights to parent her child and it's time she treasures having lost so much of it.  

"My son is an old soul. He's very eccentric and full of wisdom. Sometimes I feel like I'm turning to him for guidance. He's an incredible young man," Cherie said about her son.  

Angi Lorenzi is the Executive Director for Hearth Homes. Her heart and wisdom is what these women need.

"We're able to hold up a mirror that doesn't put them down. It's one that magnifies the strengths that they have in them already," Lorenzi told KHQ's Stephanie Vigil.

Cherie told said if it weren't for Hearth Homes, she'd probably be dead under a bridge, and now she looks forward to going back to school to finish what she never got to do as a child.

"I never saw myself pulling out of the black hole in general, so to have something to look forward to for myself because I have the boys. I'm really excited," Cherie told Stephanie.

When asked if she is proud of herself, Cherie gave a resounding, "Yes!"


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