Four women are springing into new phases of their lives after officially graduating from Shepherd’s Door, our women’s addiction recovery program! Each woman has spent roughly the last 12 months here at the Mission. They’ve learned not only how to overcome their addictions, but also the root causes that led them to addiction in the first place.
“What a change between the person I was in my addiction to the person I am now,” says Tiffany. “There’s no feeling like it when you know you are yourself again.”
The women celebrated their graduation outside in the warm sun in front of dozens of family, friends, staff and volunteers. Each graduate had a chance to stand in front of the audience to describe their transformative journey and reflect on how their time here has impacted them.
“My children were there – the most important people in my whole life,” says Sharon. “This was an outward showing to them of the love and support and what God has done in my life. My girls were crying, and my oldest said, ‘We have our mom back.’ That was wonderful.”
“I finished what I started. Shepherd’s Door has shown me love and taught me about forgiveness,” says Kathy. “I’m learning the characteristics of God, knowing that He thinks I’m wonderful and worthy. He’s forgiven me. If he can do all that, why can’t I?”
Now that their recovery program is complete, each woman is looking forward to life after New Life Ministry. Kathy is going to college. Sharon is looking forward to dealing with some lingering health issues in addition to giving back to the Mission.
Tiffany and Rachelle are staying for another year in Service positions. This option is available to graduating men and women who are interested in staying and working at the Mission, learning real-world work skills and gathering valuable job experience for the future. Tiffany will be working downtown at our Burnside Shelter in the women’s Connect program and guest outreach office.
“What makes it so neat for me is that I actually was homeless on the streets for over a year,” Tiffany says. “Now I can help people just like me.”
Rachelle will stay at Shepherd’s Door working in the intake department. She’s going to play a key role interviewing women who are interested in entering the recovery program.
I’m very excited to be able to watch people’s stories unfold. The transformation I went through… I get to see that walked out every day here. I get the chance to come alongside the residents here like the Service residents did for me – encouraging and supporting them on their way.Rachelle
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