Creating a New Kind of Home

When I first met Vanessa in 2019, what struck me most was her quiet confidence. She appeared calm when focusing on her five children (ages 2-9), composed when encountering customers at Plates Café, and projected an overall sense of being in total control. Little did I know the true story behind Vanessa’s kind eyes. When…

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Casie’s Real Change

“I can’t believe the change in me!” Those are the first words out of her mouth as Casie J. shares with me her experience at Saint John’s. Struggling with addiction and lured into drug dealing by the money to be made, Casie’s life began to spiral after her divorce. She’d had a history of periods…

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The Luckiest Year

It is Chinese New Year 2020, the Year of the Rat, and a cold, dark January evening here in Sacramento. Rats, as I have read in Chinese lore, represent resilience and rat years are supposed to be years of rejuvenation and renewal. I see this as a positive sign as I head out to meet…

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CCTRP in the Days of COVID

Like every other part of our lives in the days of Pandemic 2020, life at Saint John’s Custody to Community Transitional Reentry Program (CCTRP) has found a new status quo. Everything has been affected from the way clients arrive, the daily chores, classes, employment, shopping, schooling, and even when they leave.

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Remembering Frankie Cook

On Sunday, August 16, 2020, a very dear friend of mine, and the Saint John’s family, Frankie Cook, was called home to heaven. I think for most of us who knew and loved her, it still does not feel entirely real. I met Frankie in 2008 when I came to work for St. John’s Shelter,…

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Déjà Vu

Christina C. has been walking through the doors of Saint John’s for almost 10 years. She came to Saint John’s as a victim of domestic violence as well as her own substance abuse. “With most drug addiction you are also addicted to relationships,” she explains. Today, as a substance use disorder counselor and case manager…

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It Was Time

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…

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A Fresh Start

Three months may not seem like a long time, but for Morgan G., the past three months have been the difference between a life of drugs and homelessness and a life of safety, community and responsibility. Morgan came from an alcoholic and abusive family, and she began abusing drugs, primarily methamphetamines, at 17. Suicidal at…

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Rollercoaster

Round and round and round we go. So many of our clients at Saint John’s, women who are trapped in a vicious cycle of addiction, abuse and poverty, women who were raised in families wrought with domestic violence, crime, substance abuse, mental illness and dysfunction, are desperate for a way out. Breaking this cycle is…

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