It was time… this time, for sure. Heather B. tells me that a lifetime of bad choices, abusive relationships and drug abuse had brought her to Saint John’s Program for Real Change.

Finding herself sleeping, once again, on friends’ couches at age 44, she said it was finally time to end the “roller coaster” that she’d been on for most of her life. In March of 2019, Heather entered, as she says, “yet another 90-day rehab program” but this time, she was able to end the destructive cycle of her life by then moving to Saint John’s. She knew that she needed much more than 90 days to get her life on the right path, and she is finally where she needs to be to truly create a new life for herself.

Thanks to Saint John’s, Heather now has a full-time job as a senior custodian at UC Davis Medical Center (she is one of 14 Saint John’s clients now serving as essential workers for UC Davis!). She is thrilled about the potential for growth at UC Davis, as she starts to move upward in a system that trains folks for health care administration, for human resource work, and equips them with a variety of transferrable skills that will provide her with security and independence. More importantly, Heather’s previous experience in the healthcare field and her love for helping others has allowed her to return to her true “calling,” which she finds so rewarding. An added benefit is that her position provides for a terrific benefits package, including a comprehensive healthcare and retirement plan. Her time at Saint John’s is guiding her through all of the necessary steps to prepare her for this new life, and a secure and self-sustaining future.

Heather says she is confident that this time her life will change for good. She’s “tired” and has now finally found “a new way forward.” Heather says, “Saint John’s program has been immensely powerful in all aspects of my life, including finding my self-worth and integrity.” She continues to work hard to pay off old debts and build her savings before finding her own apartment later in the year. “I am really blessed to be here and grateful for the opportunities that Saint John’s has given me.” The door is surely open for Heather now and the pathway through it is only up and up.

By Ellen Gemma, Guest Blogger and Volunteer, Former Asst. Principal, Jesuit High School, Former Principal, St. John the Evangelist School

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