Staff Pick: "A Mother's Will to Survive" (listen)

After hearing this podcast episode, I was intrigued to read Stephanie Land’s book and I’m glad I did.

While not the main focus, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) took a toll on her life and plays a significant role in her story. Upon leaving the abusive father of her child, Stephanie is forced to run the gamut of social services bureaucracies, experienced homelessness and physically grueling low-wage work — all the while trying to maintain her dignity, provide for her daughter and engage her will to see a path forward. Her story rings so true to me as an honest and sobering portrayal of exactly what many of the survivors we work with at Saving Grace are up against.
— Gail Bartley, Mary’s Place Program Manager


Land, who had left an abusive relationship, lived for a time in a homeless shelter with her daughter.

She supplemented her housecleaning income with government assistance, at one point accruing seven types of aid simultaneously, including housing and utility assistance, food stamps, child care grants and Medicaid.

Looking back, she says, "There's no way that you can work full time [at] minimum wage and have a family. It's impossible."

Eventually, Land decided to revive her dream of going to college. With the help of a Pell Grant, she pursued a degree in creative writing. Her new memoir, Maid, details her experiences cleaning houses — as well as the hurdles she has faced as a single mother living on public assistance.