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Shanna Tovah from ELEM!

By September 23, 2022No Comments

Shanna Tovah, Everyone!

As we welcome the new year, a time of new beginnings, we’d like to share with you how Sapir found her own new beginning with ELEM’s help. You can read the extraordinary saga below and actually hear Sapir tell her story “in person” and meet the ELEM staff who restored her faith in life in the video below.

When Sapir was four, her mom took a mop to Sapir’s chest, striking her so hard that Sapir, who doesn’t remember much from that time, remembers the pain. She also remembers waking up in the hospital; the doctors around her thought she would die.

At six years old, she was removed from her home by social services, and the only saving grace in her life, her rock, was her grandmother, who loved her unconditionally. But, when Sapir was only 13, her grandmother passed away, and Sapir spiraled into complete despair. 

At 14, Sapir had to get her own place. To support herself she dealt drugs and took loans from criminals. She ended up on the streets, constantly watching her back, hardly getting any sleep over two years. 

Just when she thought all was lost, Sapir found Alma, ELEM’s center and shelter for young women at fatal risk. And even though it was so hard for her to trust again, she decided to put her trust in us.

Alma provided Sapir with a safe space, a place to talk about her life and loss. Her journey isn’t over, but she has come a long way working with ELEM. She has her own place to live, got a job, and she allows herself to dream of a future studying interior design and as a mother.  She now volunteers with Alma’s outreach team to locate young women like herself who need help. 

“Look at kids like me with kind eyes because that helped me. Don’t judge us. We were born into a reality we didn’t choose and need help. And what kids like me really want is to live this life, not just survive it.” – Sapir