Destiny arrived at Catherine’s House after her 2-year marriage became violent and changes in her mental health required a 10-day hospitalization. With nowhere to turn, “an angel wrote the telephone number on a piece of paper” and from there she describes the journey to her destiny fulfilled.
With a trauma history dating back to childhood including clinical depression, an ongoing battle with addiction and domestic violence, Destiny’s world was riddled with loss, shame, and despair. The isolation of the pandemic, lack of adequate mental health and substance abuse support, and the stronghold of control in her marriage led to thoughts of suicide, relapse, and emotional instability.
When Destiny arrived at Catherine’s house, she recalls the feeling of “coming home.” “My room was made special just for me and that is when the healing process started.” She recalls the loving nature of the staff and surprise that these strangers had a faith in her she did not have in herself. She carried the weight of shame for all she had been through and was hopeful this place God led her to would bring her the life oxygen needed to recover.
Destiny jumped into programming with weekly counseling and case management. The program allowed her to feel supported, smart, and capable of reaching the goals she had to abandon in the past. Her lack of trust in people led to a leap of faith and God continued to show her unconditional love, opportunities to draw closer to him in prayer and how to begin to love herself.
She reflects on case management as teaching her valuable tools to assist her with budgeting and decision making. As a result of this programming, she has command of her finances and is happy to report she pays all her bills on time. “I don’t live with constant worry about how I am going to get by.”
Destiny recalls the moment of sheer vulnerability when she walked into the counseling office just below her room. “My counselor had faith that I would love myself again.” Counseling at Catherine’s House introduces concepts of recovery, self-care, coping tools and empowerment. The trauma informed focus allows residents the opportunity to grow, recover and reclaim power over their lives. “Counseling changed my life. I learned I don’t have to run away from things anymore, I can run to my resources”.
The pandemic has created a higher risk for our most vulnerable. Catherine’s House has remained fully staffed and operational to meet the needs of the people we serve. Destiny shares a deep sense of gratitude for this reality. “If I was homeless and got sick with COVID, I would have died.” She recalls never feeling alone and having to experience the isolation that so many have felt in the last year.
Destiny is 9 months sober, in her own place and at peace in her life for the first time. Her advice to new residents coming to Catherine’s House, “You are safe, you are loved, and the fight is over. Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.”