Jessie discovered Mary’s Place was there to support her – but not enable her.

Jessie was hungry, exhausted, depressed, and addicted to crack cocaine when she first heard about Mary’s Place from a friend. When she made her way over, she discovered the rumors about hot meals, showers and clean clothes were true, and thought she had found an easier way to keep living on the streets.

But Jessie hadn’t yet dealt with her addiction, self-esteem and negative behavior. After a confrontation, the staff asked her not to return until she was ready to address her problems. It was then Jessie discovered Mary’s Place was there to support her – but not enable her.

A year down the road, Jessie received help with her addiction, and daily treatment for detoxification. Then she was ready to rejoin Mary’s Place, make friends, and develop the skills she needed to cope with her challenges and move forward with her life.

Jessie has been clean and sober for five years now, and has emerged as a volunteer leader at Mary’s Place, regularly managing the front desk. She feels pride, purpose and respect for the first time in her life, and has the support base she needs to maintain her progress and pursue her dreams. She is known for her mantra: “You can do better when you know better.”

Jessie looks forward to reuniting with her father, and to him knowing she is “living right.” She wants to reach out to the children in her family, and help steer them in a positive direction by sharing her own story. Her dream of someday getting a place of her own, with a dog or a cat, is closer than ever before.

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