March 23, 2023
Jade* has a story of resilience and hope. She was first housed with Foundation Housing in April 2015 by referral from the Street to Home program at St Pats.
Prior to living with FHL, Jade hadn’t had a place to call home in a long time. She was homeless, living on the streets and escaping a violent relationship. Her social life on the streets involved heavy use of alcohol and illicit drugs.
During her first few months at FHL, she struggled to adjust to living in a home. “Living under a roof and in an apartment felt so weird to me, it didn’t feel normal. I slept outside on my balcony for a while until I felt comfortable moving inside. I was used to sleeping outdoors and, in the cold,” she said.
However, safe and stable accommodation didn’t break Jade’s chain of addiction and she continued to fuel her drug habit and mental demons for years to come.
“I was using drugs often and sometimes I would stay up for days. It wasn’t until a horrifying experience in a drug psychosis and the unaffordable cost of addiction during Covid-19, that I decided to properly get clean and turn my life around,” she said.
With the support of those close to her, counselling and the support of her local Women’s Health Centre, Jade was able to put her destructive habits behind her and begin to look forward to a happier and healthier life.
Jade has now been a Foundation Housing tenant for 8 years and has been completely sober from drugs and alcohol for two years. “My dad was my rock, and he was always there when I asked him for help. I also attended counselling sessions and made a commitment to my education. Going after my goals has been motivating and encouraging. I have also turned to art and music therapy to center me,” she said.
She says the support offered by Foundation Housing staff and tenant support was critical in not only her recovery but her survival, “if I had gone through my journey anywhere else, I don’t think I’d be here today. Foundation Housing were also a big support for me. They assisted me when I needed it and helped me sustain my home.”
Jade is the mother of 5 children and is currently looking after her granddaughter full-time. “I had no relationship with my family and loved ones when I was on drugs. Now, my family is coming back together.” She has also completed various study programs including her Certificate II in Leadership, Certificate III and IV in Community Services, and Certificate IV in Youth Work.
Jade’s goal for the next few years is to get her driver’s license and secure employment as a youth support worker or in the social services sector where she can provide support to women experiencing domestic violence or homelessness.
When asked what advice she would give to others, Jade said “Don’t underestimate yourself and be loyal to yourself. Ask for help or pick up the phone – there is always someone out there happy to help you. Visualise your goals and go after them. Recovery isn’t an easy journey, but you must pick yourself up and keep going. That’s how you make it to the other side.”
We are proud to work with residents like Jade who are empowered to make positive change. Well done Jade for asking for help when you needed it and for taking the steps toward a better future.
*Name has been changed for privacy reasons.