Lukisha Thomas’ world was turned upside down on June 23, 2019.
Her youngest daughter Tyyatta, 23, was murdered by a man who wanted to be more than friends.
Though it was a time of unspeakable tragedy, Thomas now works as a Program Aide at St. Vincent de Paul Louisville’s Domestic Violence Transitional Housing Program and loves every minute of it.
“If I had known what I had known, I would have been able to better protect her,” Thomas said. “That made me want to work here. If I could save another life and be able to talk to some of these women
and keep them from a lot of situations I couldn’t keep my daughter from, it was my chance to right the wrong I didn’t get to correct. I love it.”
SVDP’s Domestic Violence Transitional Housing has 18 units for survivors and their families who need housing and services that meet their immediate need for safety and help them exit to stable, permanent housing in the community. Thomas works third shift—even volunteers off the clock—and has been at SVDP since Oct. 2021.
“This is my passion. I love people,” Thomas added. “I love working with them one-on-one … I love to mentor them. I love to talk to them about whatever they’ve been through, if they’re comfortable sharing it with me.”
Thomas’ duties consist of providing security, ensuring the facility is safe and clean, as well as overseeing house rules and procedures.
As a “fashionista,” Thomas does the women’s makeup, nails and feet to “raise their self-worth.”
“‘S’ is one of the girls, and I really worry about her like she’s one of my kids. I’m a mother first,” she said. “She comes to me and confides in me. They all do, for the most part. I just love on them and give them advice. They’re sweet ladies.”
Some of the women come to SVDP traumatized and timid to the point of not wanting to be mentioned by name or room number for safety concerns.
“I tell them, ‘Listen, we’re not here to harm you nor hurt you … we’re only here to help you, so with that being said, you have to help us so we can help you,’” Thomas said.
She truly cares about each and every resident.
“If you’re not compassionate, you don’t need to work at a place like this,” Thomas added. “This is my life. I’ll die doing this.”
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