I always tell people that my son saved my life, but it was at WPA that I found the strength to stay sober. Using drugs for more than 20 years wore me out, but when my son asked his daddy why mom was not around, I realized that I had to change. At Hopper Home [WPA’S former Alternative to Incarceration Program] I had the chance to understand why I always went back to the streets. Sometimes it was hard to participate in the workshops and programs. We all had so many years on the street and so much hurt, but the women, both staff and other residents, helped me deal with my feelings and fears and to develop new goals for myself. I went to live at Sunflower House [WPA’S permanent housing in East New York] after I graduated from Hopper Home. This gave me time to rebuild my relationships with my family before I moved back in with them. WPA staff inspired and encouraged me to go back to school, and today I am pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. WPA’s Women’s Advocacy Project (WAP) has been an integral part of my life since 2004; I have shared many tears and much laughter with my WAP sisters. They are my family. With help from WAP, I recently registered 31 individuals to vote at the family shelter where I work. I credit WPA for helping me through very difficult times. I am grateful that I got the chance to feel, hurt, cry, confront, heal, and change.
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