Gracie was born in Longmont and raised in the Longmont/Boulder area. She attended Boulder High School. After high school she married her high school sweetheart. She was married for fifteen years but they were together for a total of seventeen, they had two daughters Dora and Hanna. She says that half of her married years were great the other half were filled with problems and domestic violence. She was legally divorced in 2006.
Gracie had a sister and niece who had previously lived at the Inn and were successful, knowing this she wanted to move in. She called the Inn looking for information and was referred to the Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley. When she went to her first appointment they gave her information, at that point she realized she had also been a victim of verbal/ mental abuse. She remembers a time when she was home alone and when her husband came home, threw her to the ground and put a knife to her throat. She was sure she was going to die but somehow managed to push him off. She thought, "Enough is enough" and fought back. At one point they separated for three years but got back together, Gracie says the violence only grew worse and she left again, but this time for good. She said the reason she finally left her husband was when she explained to her girls that they were going to be moving without their dad. Her oldest daughter told her that it was ok for their dad to hit and yell at their mom and that she didn't want to move. Gracie did not want her girls growing up thinking it was ok for a man to hit or yell at a woman. She wanted her girls to see that mom could do it on her own and be successful.
At one point in their marriage Gracie was a stay at home mom, her exhusband was the sole provider. They made too much money to qualify for childcare assistance but they also couldn't afford to pay for monthly childcare costs. He used the situation to further abuse her. He would tell her that he was working, he paid the bills, and because of this it was his house and she couldn't kick him out. She was still with him when she applied for the Inn Between the situation at this point was really bad. She was denied entry into the Inn the first time because she was not working, she didn't give up and applied again two weeks later. She was accepted the second time even though she still wasn't working. When she left her abusive husband he did not let her take anything. She moved into the Inn with two small living room chairs, one twin bed, two dressers, and their clothing. He told her she couldn't take anything if she was leaving him. She remembers her first day of "freedom". She signed her lease at the Inn on April 11th and moved in on that same day.
Once she became a resident of the Inn, she applied for and received childcare assistance, food stamps, and found a job in a warehouse. She was only on food stamps for a short period because once she was employed she didn't qualify for the program. Within one year of being at the Inn she was granted a Section 8 voucher from the Longmont Housing Authority and moved into an apartment within the community. She later worked for one-and-a-half years for a wood flooring company but was let go because business was slow. She soon found a job as an Office Assistant but was looking for another position because the job was not a good fit for her. She saw the ad posted by the Inn looking for an Administrative Assistant. When she applied for the position, her last name had changed from when she lived at the Inn because of the divorce. Not until after her interview did anyone realize who she was, Gracie had been selected because of her qualifications.
While living at the Inn Gracie not only was able to get out of a domestic violence situation, the agency helped her get furniture and apply for housing. She says the most important thing that the Inn did was it enabled her to get her life back together; for her and her girls. Working at the Inn has helped her see others in a different light. She knew she had it bad but sees that others have it worse. She always appreciated when things were good but she knows now that life can change in an instant. She considers herself a "rich woman" she says she has it all. She says others may not see her as having a lot but she sees herself as having achieved it all. She currently lives in a nice place, her own little castle as she describes it. Gracie plans to go to college to study Sociology, she has received a lot of help from her case manager and someday wants to give back and help others. She and her girls who are nine and twelve are doing well, they have confidence and Gracie is proud to say they have done it and have accomplished it all on their own.