Corrine's Story

Corrine Smiling

My family has lived in the Pacific Northwest since I was born, moving around Washington and Oregon until we settled in Grants Pass when I was 10. I am the younger of two girls, and I grew up in a happy two-parent household. I was loved and protected as much as anyone can be, yet I was always searching for something. I looked for my identity in relationships and in substances and quickly spiraled into a cycle of addiction and abusive relationships that lasted 12 years.

In 2015, I hit my rock bottom and found myself in jail, looking at prison time. I was given a court order to complete inpatient treatment, and found myself in Portland. Through faith and hard work, and the support of my family and amazing new friends, I completed a year of intensive residential treatment, followed by a yearlong internship that introduced me to the world of social and homeless services. I knew immediately that I was meant to work with individuals who had been torn down and thrown away by the world, reaching out a hand and giving back what had been given to me.

I started working at Transition Projects as a residential advocate at Jean's Place in February 2018. While working as an RA, I participated in the Mentor Program, where I learned additional skills for working with the homeless population and had space to share my lived experience with others. I recently obtained a new position with Transition Projects’ Coordinated Housing Access Team (CHAT). I am excited about the opportunities to continue to serve and connect with our participants, while continuing to learn about myself and the world.