“I was a single mother of five children; four of whom were living with family or friends due to my inability to care for them. I had been addicted to drugs and alcohol since I was a teenager. My 8-year-old son, André, and I lived on the streets of Charleston for many months and were in desperate need of help when we entered the YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter in the fall of 2002.
A case manager immediately enrolled André into the school system and the YWCA Sojourner’s children’s program, as well as helped me develop a plan to reach my three goals: recover from my addictions, receive education and job training, and secure a home for André and my other children. While working on my addiction recovery and my GED, I attended parenting, self-esteem, wellness, and budgeting classes at the YWCA Sojourner’s Education/Job Readiness Center.
Today, I have an amazing five years of continued sobriety. I obtained my GED, became an award-winning employee at the Embassy Suites Hotel, and got my driver’s license for the first time! Today, I run a licensed cleaning service and live with my three youngest children at our home in Charleston.
I went from being a burden to society to a productive member of society. My story is a testimony to all women who are addicted and need help: if I can do it, anyone can! YWCA Sojourner’s didn’t give me any handouts. They gave me the hand up I needed to turn my life around.
Sharon Pendleton's Story