Turquoise Palmer

Turquoise Palmer is excited for the future. The single mother of two, has stable housing for her and her two children, is enrolled in classes, and just got a new job with the City of Tallahassee.

But a few years back, she couldn’t think about the future because getting through each day was a struggle. She fled an abusive marriage and was living in a shelter for single women and unwed mothers. Her son had chronic health issues stemming from a ear infection and her daughter had witnessed her mother’s abuse. “I was trying to find a way to break this cycle of despair,” Palmer said.

It was while she was living at the shelter that Palmer met Dee Humose, Ability1st Housing Coordinator and Andrea Wiggins, Ability1st Family Housing Coordinator. They worked together to secure stable housing for Palmer and her children through the Ability1st A Place Called Home Program. Beyond supportive housing, they referred her to other programs that could enable Palmer to live independently in a stable environment.

“The staff at Ability1st were the first to tell me I should get counseling for myself and my daughter to deal with the abuse,” Palmer said. “They helped arrange for the counseling and we are both doing well. My daughter just got straight As on her report card. My son is also doing well. He often stays with family in Miami so he can see a specialist and continue to get the health care he needs .”     

Palmer has been in the Ability1st A Place Called Home program for nearly two years. In that time she has secured full-time employment, enrolled in school, and as she puts it, “been able to save and learn how to enjoy truly independent living.”

Ability First Logo

Ability1st, the Center for Independent Living of North Florida, is a community-based nonprofit organization that provides services to persons with varying disabilities. Ability1st serves Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Gadsden, and Wakulla counties.