When I walked into the children’s rec room at the YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter for Homeless Women & Families, a beaming, polite, charming woman extended her hand to greet me. She was dressed in a beautiful dress, and she carried herself with an air of decorum – almost as if she was coming to a job interview.
Her name was Jeane.
“I feel like I’ve finally arrived. I’m eager to get my place. I have a job. As a matter of fact, I have two,” she proudly shared. Immediately I was drawn to her, and wanted to know more about this woman’s life.
Jeane was one of 16 children. Her parents were stern. “There was too many of us not to be!” she laughed. She credited her parents with instilling values – and especially the notion that there is nothing wrong with failing, but there is with staying there.
Ten years ago, Jeane came to the YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter in full-blown addiction. Despite all appearances of hitting rock bottom, she hadn’t yet. “I hadn’t learned enough – wasn’t ready. I didn’t know there was a life without drugs where I could be happy.”
She gave the credit of her recovery to God.
“There was someone on my shoulder telling me, ‘You’re not like this. You’re better than this.’ I didn’t enjoy it anymore.” I had to go to long-term treatment facilities for years to get an understanding of my addiction. She realized, “if change didn’t come about I w