Faith over fear: Shepherd's Village offers refuge for single mothers

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A few years ago, Liz Smoley was at the end of her rope.

"I was at a point in my life where my children and I needed a place to live. I was living in the Grace House homeless shelter due to an abusive relationship and needing to get away from that," she recalled.

Through research and her church, she found Shepherd's Village, a non-profit in Pinellas County that helps single mothers who come from abusive or broken relationships.

It's provided a lot for Smoley and her children.

"A home, which is most important. Community, where all the women here are going through the same thing that I am," said Smoley.

April McKnight was in Liz's shoes not that long ago. Now she's working with Shepherd's Village to help Liz and other women like her get back on their feet.

"It was a place where you could be safe, you could get resources, you could get the help and healing you needed as a potential single mom," said McKnight.

Smoley has used what she's learned here to clear some hurdles.

"I was able to become debt free. I am now on a path to getting my bachelor's degree," continued Smoley.

And she may not be a renter here for much longer.  

"Own a home, hopefully with Habitat for Humanity. I've been accepted into that program," said Smoley.

Shepherd's Village is teaching women to put faith over fear. 

"That there's hope. That there's programs that can help them heal from the brokenness of divorce and separation or broken relationships," McKnight added.

LINK: For more information about Shepherd's Village, visit