Hi! My name is Lynn and I am an alcoholic, addict, a domestic violence survivor. I’d stay in relationships despite the violence so I’d have a roof over my head—and would couch surf on friends’ couches.
I’ve had little bouts of homelessness through the years. My locker at work would have a week’s worth of clothes in it and sometimes I would have to wash up in the restroom at the train station. My alcoholism and addiction (mainly beer and crack) was spiraling out of control and I was making a lot of bad choices. My only child had cut me out of his life. I was unemployable, suicidal and untrustworthy. One night I had enough and tried unsuccessfully to end my life. I was so mad the next morning that I was still alive. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, so I went to the hospital where I was put on a 24 hour suicide watch. From there I went to detox for a few days until I was able to get into the King House, a Woman’s residential long-term treatment program. When I graduated 9 ½ months later as I had no place to go, I moved to the single women’s floor of the Woonsocket Homeless Shelter.
During my stay there, I attended a couple of life skills classes and attended the Janitorial Training through the Community Care Alliance (CCA) Employment and Training program. I got a job at Head Start. When I needed food or clothes, I would get a voucher for those things. I’ve also used the monthly food commodities at CCA.
I’ve also received substance abuse counseling as part of my aftercare from rehab. About four years ago I moved into CCA’s sober house, which is a supportive housing program also run by CCA. When my father died a year and a half ago, I used grief counseling to get me through that rough time in my life. I’ve gotten my taxes done through the CCA Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
Now I’m a Peer Recovery Specialist at the Serenity Center, a drop-in center for people in recovery, and I do community service at the RI Coalition for the Homeless. I’m happy to say that I now have a relationship with my son again and babysit my grandchildren. Last year I filled out an application for Section 8 housing and was recently approved for my housing voucher. I’m busy apartment hunting and I look forward to having my Mom visit from New Hampshire, and having my son and his family over for dinner. I actually have an interview with Charlesgate this Friday! I will always be grateful to CCA and all they have done for me.