“While I was at Saint John’s, I didn’t have to worry about rent –
I could focus on my goal and my plan.”
In and out of jail all her life and addicted to drugs from age 16, Karen spent three years in prison for aggravated identity theft, yet still rebounded to her dysfunctional lifestyle upon her release at age 30. When her son Kyren (now 6) started kindergarten, she was deeply entrenched into addiction once more, lost her home and nearly lost Kyren and daughter Kai (now 8) to CPS when she found Saint John’s.
“I had never really committed to being sober before that,” notes Karen. “I knew that I wanted to be present in my kids’ lives, and to do that I had to learn how to stay sober, once and for all. I had to learn that behavior. While I was at Saint John’s, I didn’t have to worry about rent – I could focus on my goal and my plan. It’s so important to do that – it’s on you. It’s whatever you make of it.”
While she worked at Plates, Karen saved up enough money to buy her own car, and she and her children now live independently in a three-bedroom apartment. She is now a self-described “loved and well-respected” employee of Vitalant, and looks forward to furthering her career within the 7000-employee strong corporation. She considers it the best job she’s ever had, and her kids are doing great!
By Sue Cawdrey
Grants & Communications Manager
Saint John’s Program for Real Change