You may have read about Trisha*, one of our program graduates, in our recent newsletter. Her childhood and family background were a traumatic mess and she never really learned the skills she needed for life as an adult. In fact, her young adult years were spent trying to numb the pain of her childhood with drugs and attention from men who abused her. Trisha graduated from our program and was well on her way to building a new life with her two sons, but she still needed help learning to manage her life and family before stepping fully out on her own. Many of our women need this transitional help. That’s where the cottages come in! On our Livermore campus, there are 5 2-bedroom cottages where women can make a smoother transition from dormitory-style living to life completely on their own. Trisha says that her time in the cottage was vital to her growth because it taught her to be accountable to herself. “In the cottages, there’s no one to tell you, ‘You didn’t do devotions today,’ or ‘You didn’t go to church this morning,’ or ‘You didn’t wash and put away that dish.’ It’s all up to you.” Trisha is grateful that Shepherd’s Gate helped her take baby steps to self-sufficiency. “I wasn’t scared when it was time to move out on my own — thanks to Shepherd’s Gate I was ready.” Today she and her 2 boys are thriving as a result!*Name changed to protect privacy.