How Has Living in Safe, Stable, and Supportive Housing Affected My Life?
Danita Walker, age 29
When I admitted that I was an addict, the first thing I recognized was the desire to move out of the neighborhood that was so familiar to me. I could not remain clean living in an area where drugs and alcohol were readily available inside and outside of my home. I could not sit on my front porch to enjoy the blessing of another day without worrying about being an innocent bystander getting hurt in gang cross fire. Kids could not walk nor play safely without interference of outside forces. I wanted my daughter to live in a good neighborhood where the community bonded together for the well-being of their families. I wanted to be clean from drugs. What I needed was change.
I learned of supportive housing through friends in recovery who knew that I was serious about changing my life. My first impression occurred the very first day when I came to submit my application. I was greeted and accepted with love and kindness. The women residents and staff I met that day really welcomed me. Right then I knew that this was home. Our community sticks together when it comes to keeping our community drug free and free of chaos. Many of us have come from all walks of life, and maintaining a stable and safe place to live is of the highest importance. We enjoy days when the children ride their bikes in the front of our homes, and having the feeling of security that we don’t have to watch our backs fearing someone will jump out and attack us.
We look out for each other. By us pulling together for the sake of our lives, we can live a little more peaceful today. We each have reached a point of freedom. A woman’s self-esteem has been boosted. Some have returned to the work force and others are pursuing higher education. Living in a safe, stable, and supportive housing development has allowed many women to obtain gifts of recovery for themselves that were so neglected due to their addiction. Women are able to pay affordable rent, take care of their children’s needs, and provide for themselves. Our community is so wonderful. I can knock on my neighbor’s door and be completely honest about my life and not feel shame. I am accepted for who I am and not in spite of it. Living in this community has afforded me the opportunity to come closer to my higher power. Not only do I receive support from the community in which I live, but also I have experienced helping children and their parents. I have a solid network of people who care about me and I care about them equally. For the first time, my daughter was able to attend day camp for the whole summer.
This program has allowed my daughter to obtain her babysitter’s license through the Red Cross. She is now surrounded by other positive role models who really do care about her well-being. Having the support of my community and the environment in which we live is the starting point of my journey each and every day.