From Rock Bottom To Rebuilding

by Alberta

“The Salvation Army has meant all the difference between being homeless and possibly dead because I was very suicidal,” states Shelley, a recovering alcoholic and women’s residential services client.

Shelley was a successful administrative assistant but she was drinking too much. First she lost her job then she was evicted from her apartment when she couldn’t pay the rent. It was a year-long spiral for Shelley.

“To be evicted was scary,” says Shelley. “I didn’t know where you go or what you do or who you turn to.”

The stress of it all resulted in Shelley mixing alcohol and pills and she landed in the hospital a couple of times. It was during her second hospital stay that the social worker recommended The Salvation Army women's residence.

“I started out in an emergency bed where they completely take care of you, make you feel safe, feed you and house you for 30 days,” says Shelley. “After that, I was able to get my finances in order so I could move to transitional housing."

“I’ve met some really nice people here,” she continues. “There is comradery and other women you can talk to who get it. The Resource Centre next door provides access to computers to assist with job searching and there is an Education & Employment Specialist available to help. The staff are a great source of support. It’s also nice to have the gym available to keep in shape.”

Shelley has stayed sober, found work, and a has place of her own now. She is rebuilding her life. When asked what she wants for the future, Shelley’s response is simple – save some money and stay sober. “I don’t want to come back,” she says.