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Happy New Year!
We are ringing in the new year with a full house of residents who are thriving in their recovery and healing. 2021 had its challenges, but we are incredibly proud of all the hard work our residents continue to put into rebuilding their lives. To celebrate the strength and determination of our incredible residents, we wanted to spotlight FOUR of our women this month. Read more about each resident below!
Growing up, I had the ideal childhood. My family was great, I played sports, I did well in school. After I graduated, I started to rebel. I got pregnant at 19 and had my son at 20. When I was 23, I met an older guy named Mike, and instantly fell head over heels. The relationship quickly turned very toxic. I found out he was doing meth, and one bad day was all it took for me to start doing it with him. Our relationship became a nightmare. He abused me physically, mentally, and emotionally. When we split up, I was so messed up in the head. My son and I moved in with my parents, and when they found out I was using drugs, they kicked me out and kept my son. In less than a month, I left my relationship and lost my son. Within a week after that, I put a needle in my arm for the first time. I was instantly hooked. I dove head first into the street life. I sold drugs, ran with a gang, and put myself in so many dangerous situations. Feb 3, 2019 I got arrested for the first time. I went back out a few more times before I finally went to prison. Prison saved my life. It brought me to where I am today. I chose to come to Magdalene Serenity House because I really wanted something better than the life I was living. I knew if I went back home, it would be easy to fall back into my old lifestyle. When I got accepted into the Magdalene House, I took it as a sign from my higher power that this was the next step in living my best life w/o the use of substances. Since being at MSH, I’ve learned what my boundaries consist of, and also to respect others’ boundaries. I’ve learned to be financially responsible. I’ve learned that there are so many enjoyable adventures in life, without the use of mind-altering substances. But most importantly, I’ve come to realize that I’m worthy of having a beautiful life with incredible people. My future plans include having a strong relationship with my son and family. I want to have my own place and be financially comfortable. I want to continue to move up in the company I work for. I want to be a voice to help others struggling with addiction. I think the greatest factor in my recovery was realizing my worth. Once I was able to see myself in a positive mindset, my recovery has become easier and more comfortable. Also, getting to the bottom of why one is using drugs in the first place, and challenging those painful parts of ourselves, helps exponentially as well. Although I have a ton of regrets and shame around my addiction, I’m grateful for the experience. I know that may sound crazy, but I wouldn’t be where I am now without my past. So, I’ve learned to embrace it so I can continue on this path of becoming the greatest version of myself that I’ve ever been.
Three years ago I knew I had to get sober. I didn’t know how, but it was time after going to rehab six times. On January 22, 2022, I celebrated 9 months clean. It took me changing everything: people, places, things. I left a 19 year relationship, of drugs and abuse, I left my home, I left the state (I’m from TN) and changed everything I’ve done. Today I have a home, I have a job I love at FedEx, I have a relationship with my sister and 2 nieces. I have a family here that supports me. I just bought my car, everyday gets better now that I’m sober. Not saying it’s easy I work hard everyday but the hard I have now is easy to the hard life I was living! I chose to come to Magdalene Serenity House after being in a sober living home in Tennessee. I broke a fight up between two girls and everyone was asked to leave the program. I wouldn’t go back home to my ex so they took me to the homeless shelter in Nashville and left me, so I would be able to stay there. You were allowed to come in at 6:30 pm every night and you had to leave at 6:30am. Every morning I would fill out applications for rehabs and sober living. When I would come in and they gave me messages from some of the places I put in for. I would call them back and leave messages but we would miss each other because of the hours. A lady who works there just graduated from Thistle Farms watched me do this everyday for over a month and she said she saw how much I wanted help and helped get me into their safe house while I was waiting on a bed at Thistle Farms to come open. Thistle Farms asked me if I would be willing to travel out of TN and I said I could go as far as I can w/o a passport and they told me about Magdalene Serenity House, a sister program. I said yes, I knew I had to go as far as I could away from everyone and everything and it truly has been a blessing and the best decision I’ve ever made. Since being at MSH. I got my drivers license, I got my first legal job I’ve had in 8 years, I’m an aunt, and a sister again. My daughter isn’t ready to talk to me yet but has sent me a letter calling me mom again and holiday cards and a birthday card. I have health insurance. I have a life I am proud of. My future plans include saving money and getting my first place on my own. I want to apply for classes and go back to school to do ultrasounds. I hope to have my daughter be part of my life and to keep finding my purpose in life now that I am living life. My advice for others in recovery is to keep working hard every day. We are alive for a reason and have made it through really bad things, but that’s not all of who you are. What you do today will make you who you are tomorrow.
I came here from prison not knowing how or where to begin building a life or if it was even possible. With Magdalene’s help I have worked off 1,000 hours of community service, gained employment, got a car, and for the first time in my life got a drivers license, money in my savings account and out of financial stress with the police. I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve gained almost 2 years of sobriety and feel very hopeful for the future. I chose to come to Magdalene Serenity House because I knew how hard it was to do it on your own from past experience of coming in and out of prison. I knew I needed help or I’d just end up right back. It was the best decision I ever made. I knew I needed routine and a clean environment, something I didn’t have. During my time at MSH I have gained long-term sobriety and it has given me so much more belief in myself. I have grown with other people, learning how to coincide with other people. I’ve been able to learn from good healthy role models so I can be healthy. My future plans include being a productive, happy member of the community. My advice for others in recovery is to know that it is possible and that it is worth sticking with. I am very grateful and thankful today that I am someone that I am proud to be.
My name is Crystal S. I was raised by my uncle and grandmother. We were an extremely low income family, and that made life stressful for everyone. My uncle was born with an illness and he took it out on me when it became too much for him. All my friends and family have done drugs ever since I could remember. I finally tried meth at 27 when I finally gave up on having a productive life. After my first hit, I thought I finally found the happiness I had always been looking for. After a long while (7 years) I had nothing, not even myself, it was lost too. I chose to come to Magdalene Serenity House because I heard amazing things about the Magdalene House. “Sisters for Life” is the thing that hooked me. A family that was sober, trusting and always giving positive support. I wanted to change my life and my heart told me Magdalene is where I need to be to do so. Since being at Magdalene I have learned to trust again and I can manage my anger issues. I’m finally getting medical help and I’m learning to be an adult. Adulting is hard, but I’m able to do it with great support. In the next month I have big plans to get stable with DHS, getting my drivers license back, changing my job to a night job and going to college during the day. My advice to other folks in recovery is if you want recovery, 100% attend meetings and stay away from old friends that show red flags or don’t respect your recovery.
2021 Program Achievements
- We had three residents graduate our program and successfully reenter the community.
- We received our first federal grant to partially fund a resident support position at MSH.
- We celebrated our FOURTH birthday and have kept our doors open throughout the pandemic.
- Sophia, our first program graduate and staff member, celebrated five years clean and sober. Many of our other residents also hit significant recovery milestones this year and several have surpassed the year mark!
- We have maintained a full house of 8 residents, and all are currently employed!
- Two of our current residents are candidates for graduation and will graduate later this year!
- We have a renovation plan and estimate for our new Aftercare House. Stay tuned for more updates!
We are Pleased to Recognize our Monthly Donors!
Magdalene Serenity House is fortunate to have a solid foundation of individuals who contribute to our work and make healing and recovery possible! This month, we would like to recognize the individuals who make automatic monthly contributions and provide steady and predictable funding to support our operations throughout the entire year. To see the full list check out the full version of our monthly newsletter here. Will you join them? To establish a monthly recurring gift, please contact Joy Morris, Development Director, at email@example.com.
Other Ways YOU Can Support the Women at Magdalene Serenity House
1. Visit www.lovehealsnwa.org to make your one-time contribution or set up your monthly recurring contributions. Your donation will have an immediate impact.
2. Start your shopping from the Amazon Smile and designate a percentage of your dollars spent to MSH.
3. Purchase items from our Amazon Wish List that our residents and graduates currently need and have them shipped directly to us.
5. Help us spread the word about how we are Healing a Community! Host us to be a presenter at your company or community group.
Several generous donors helped us purchase a much needed new couch and rug for our living room. A big thank you to Rogelio Garcia Contreras, David and Jane Gearhart, Lowell and Kathy Grisham, Kristine and Trent Palmer, Dick and Margaret Rutherford, and Barbara Shadden. Thank you for helping us continue to make MSH a safe place of healing and recovery!
- St. Paul’s Episcopal Church – Our friends at St Paul’s provide ongoing operational support of our program regularly. This month, they raised additional funds through their annual cookie sale.
- CitiScapes Magazine – Magdalene Serenity House was featured in the January issue of CitiScapes. We are grateful to partner with CitiScapes to raise awareness for our mission.
- Walmart – Walmart generously donated undergarments and socks for our residents.
- Tim Burch and Clubhaus Fitness – Our women enjoy weekly fitness sessions provided by Personal Trainer, Tim Burch at Clubhaus Fitness.