Cat was raised by her mother and grandmother, both diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her father was absent in her life, only ever meeting him once.
She was subjected to physical, emotional and sexual abuse as a young child. Extensive alcohol and drug use, as well as undiagnosed mental health issues, bound her to a life of darkness and pain since the age of 14.
Cat’s addictions placed her in harm’s way as she fell victim to human trafﬁcking and was forced into prostitution for ten years.
She was subjected to unspeakable horror that only time will heal. Cat’s addiction to drugs increased to heroin, fentanyl, other opiates and methamphetamine with increasing alcohol abuse. Additionally, Cat is diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Thanks to United Way supporters, Tri-County Human Services Detoxiﬁcation Unit was able to step in so Cat could begin her journey towards recovery and healing. She then came to reside at the Agape House for women after completing substance abuse treatment with the TCHS Residential Assessment Stabilization Unit for Women program.
“I just broke down and ask my higher power to do whatever needed to be done,” Cat said. “I surrendered, couldn’t do it anymore”
Cat made good progress while in residence at the Agape House. She maintained her mental health treatment with TCHS MED Clinic program and received educational support for her medical conditions. She was also able to obtain health insurance, secured a primary care provider and began to take care of her health, all the while participating in Agape substance abuse treatment services.
Cat’s addiction and trauma history had produced such an expansive distance between her and her parental responsibilities that she lost touch with her children.
While she now is in contact with some of her children again, Cat understands that she still needs time to strengthen her recovery before she is ready to play a larger role in their lives.
Cat currently works for a local restaurant as a server and demonstrates good budgeting skills needed to live independently and is active in her 12-step community, providing a wonderful role model for women new to recovery.
“I Love my life,” Cat said. “I can be an actual mother now. My son will never see or know the kind of life I was forced to live. I can protect him now”
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To create positive lasting change in our community by helping children succeed in school; promoting family financial stability and independence; and improving people’s health.
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