Born and raised in Michigan, I was exposed to what seemed to be a normal way of living - drugs, prostitution, shootings and robberies. I lived in a rough area, was schooled in a middle class white area and being bi-racial was not accepted by either. At the same time, I was dealing with physical and sexual abuse. I chose alcohol and drugs as my escape. Eventually I transitioned from a job at a Fortune-500 company to selling drugs and my life unraveled.
I decided to move to Portland, and discovered that the move did not take care of the problems I faced. I was sleeping on the streets, breaking into houses and using anyone I could to get my next fix – the drugs had taken over. I decided to make a change, was introduced to Transition Projects and was accepted into their short-term residential program.
The programs and services provided structure and allowed me to gain my self-worth back.
The feeling of disconnect was fading, stability returned, and Transition Projects hired me as a Street Outreach Specialist and a Residential Advocate. I was promoted to Residential Case Manager, then spent over two years managing the agency’s largest shelter, and am now Income Development Program Manager at Transition Projects. I am happy to say I am celebrating my eighth year in recovery and continuing to be a positive parental role model.