“ A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Lao Tzu

Our Program

Success Stories

In Her Own Words - ( parent requested anonymity)

Looking back now I wonder if I ever stood a chance, being that I was addicted from the day I was born. My mother drank her whole pregnancy with me, and later in life I repeated exactly what she did with my first child.

When I was a child, I thought it was abnormal to see my parents without a can of beer in their hand or a late night argument that usually turned violent. I learned at a really early age that this is normal, however it never really sat right with me. My mom was physically abusive and my father was verbally abusive to us girls. Needless to say that alcoholism and abuse was severe in my home even though one of my parents was always trying to compensate for the other parents mistakes. This taught me not to trust. I wasn’t sure who was the good guy or the bad guy in our home, sometimes I wondered if there was even any “good.”

My parents divorced when I was 13 and my mom moved my sister and me far away from my dad. Shortly after our move she found another alcoholic to bring into our lives but she reassured us that “this one” was “the one.” That turned out to be another abusive part of my life. I started running away from home and turned to anyone that would give me shelter. I was putting myself in very dangerous situations but it all seemed so normal to me at the time.

I turned to older men for my protection and my self-worth. Drugs became a huge problem for me. It started slow, then I became a regular daily user. Eventually I turned into an abuser to everyone in my life. Violence and sadness became what defined me. I was so extremely broken and I felt that drugs and men fixed my problems. Eventually I learned that all they did was add to the problems I already had, or create new ones. I also had severe criminal behavior. I would even steal from my family. I would say that I stole from my friends too but the reality is that I was not friend material and no one was willing to take the risk of being my friend. I felt alone and scared through all of this but my pride wouldn’t let me show it.

At 17 I had my first son. He, too, was born addicted but this time to Methamphetamines. I couldn’t stop no matter how hard I wanted to. I was in bondage of the drugs. When I did ask for support no one believed that I was sincere, so their motivation to help me lacked as well.

By the time my son was 6 weeks old I had learned that I was incapable of taking care of him so I gave him to my mom in lieu of a CSD case. I loved my son more than I could ever explain to anyone, I just didn’t know how to show it. I was off running again this time even harder. When I turned twenty, I had my second son. I got clean this time but only until he was 2 ½ months old. I went back out on the streets for 9 months and then got arrested. This relapse was by far the worst part of my life. I would rather have been dead than have lived with the pain I was going through, I just didn’t have the guts to “pull the trigger” so to speak.

Today I am grateful for everything I went through. In my addiction and homelessness I didn’t realize that I was hurting everyone around me. My children may have been young, but they still suffered through all of my poor choices. My children no longer have to see me loaded, and they will never again. I came to the Esplanade house December 4, 2008. The staff welcomed me and my babies in with open and loving arms. Without their support I don’t think I would have stayed very long. I can still remember what it felt like to not believe in myself and there were many times that I wanted to give up but the staff always lifted me up when I was falling.

Because of the services they provided I learned how to parent, and to love my children even on our worst days. I learned that the boys weren’t the problem, I was. My poor coping skills and lack of consistency and compassion is what made parenting and living life on life’s terms feel impossible. My sons will tell you I am the best mommy in the whole world and they genuinely feel that way. Because my self-esteem has boosted, I can own that and feel the joy of my boys loving me. When I first started school in August of 2009, my plans were to get my BS in Social Work. My real dream was to become a nurse, but because I was a felon, I couldn’t pursue that. But due to my diligence and all of the hard work I have done, I was able to petition the court to have my felony reduced to a misdemeanor on January 13, 2011. Now I can follow my dream.

The truth is that I have set goals and I am reaching for the stars and feel nothing can stop me. I now have almost 3 years clean and I look at life in a whole new way. I live for God today and I stand up for what is always right. I owe it to the Esplanade House and their program that gave me a hand up. I will be forever grateful.

 

In her own words by Olivia

I had never felt so worried in all my life; standing before the judge feeling that I had done all I could to get my daughter back. I had been sober for 9 months, gone to parenting classes and kept up with meetings. That day the judge noticed my achievements, but added, “Just one piece yet to do; you must obtain proper housing.”

In my heart I had known that this was coming. I was working hard to find a good place to be a home to my baby girl and myself. Seventeen days after she was detained, I put an application in at the Esplanade House, and had been calling them faithfully. I received their call just two days after my court hearing and my daughter and I moved in within a week. I was amazed at the immediate support I was given, it was as if hands were under me to lift me up. My new neighbors helped me move what few things I could call mine into my new apartment. I began to meet with my case manager, who assessed my needs in all areas of life. Before I knew it, I had plenty of food, better beds with nice linens, and a nice set of dishes. Everyone kept saying, “These are the gifts of sobriety.” Wow, this still brings tears to my eyes. The next week, with a schedule in my hand, I was introduced to my new drug and alcohol counselors, started a budgeting class, a parenting class, daily living skills class, and even stress reduction! With all the information I was learning, and the resourceful help of my case manager, I began to “plan my work, and work my plan” as they say at Esplanade House. Looking back, I cannot believe all the wonderful things that living at the Esplanade House has helped me accomplish. I have learned positive parenting skills, healthy eating, and how to do “self care.”

I also went to credit counseling and I am on the road to clearing up the financial wreckage of my past. I petitioned the courts to regain the privilege to drive. With the help of my case manager, I worked out a payment plan to get my old student loans out of default so I could go back to college. I am now finishing my second semester towards a bachelor’s degree in nursing! At 34, I registered and actually voted for the first time in my life. Although these things seemed impossible to do, the most amazing thing that I have accomplished was bringing my older daughters home to live with us. This has been a huge adjustment, but the Esplanade House with its flexible hand has given us support that we could not have received else where.I feel like the Esplanade House fully believed in my potential. All the staff worked closely to convince me that I could live up to that potential! In the beginning, it was so hard to grasp because I was so unsure of myself, every little thing that came up seemed mountainous. The Esplanade house has helped me shrink my obstacles down to size. They are teaching me how to navigate through those obstacles that I do not have power over, and how to change the things I do have power over!