A New Chapter


Terri was married for ten years. She and her husband had slipped into a pattern of drinking each day before and after work, and on weekends. Alcohol became their top priority. They got paid on Thursdays, and by Monday, they had spent most of their paychecks on their addiction. Then they would borrow from friends or family, pay the money back when they received their next checks, then spend it all, and start the cycle all over again.

Terri talked to her husband about quitting drinking, but over time it was clear that he had no interest in stopping. Eventually, Terri was at a crossroads. She decided she was ready to make a change and would move forward, even if it meant the end of her marriage.

Terri completed a ten-day detox program, then 50 days in a rehabilitation center. When she was ready to leave, she could not return to her apartment and stay sober, so she became homeless for the first time in her life. It was then that she was referred to the Haven.

Within a week of moving into the Haven in July, Terri got a full-time job. She took any hours her boss asked her to work, and filled in for other employees when they were sick or did not show up for their shifts. Recently, she was trained on opening the store and now has her own set of keys. She hopes to be an assistant manager in the future. Caroline Swaney, Terri’s service coordinator at the Haven, knows Terri will be successful when given the opportunity to grow professionally.

“I’ve never been afraid of working hard. What else am I going to do? Sit around and watch TV? That’s not for me. I like to be busy. When no one’s in the store, I re-stock things and clean up. I keep moving. I’ve never missed a day.”

Keeping busy has been important to Terri as she adjusts to her new life. Working has also allowed her to build a savings account, which will fund a security deposit on her own apartment and expenses in the future.

Terri says that the Haven has given her peace of mind. “Everything I have right now I owe to the Haven—my job, my savings, a place to live, access to resources, hope for the future. I don’t know where I would be without their support. At the Haven, all you have to do is ask. If you want to take classes or build savings or get a job or an apartment, they will help you achieve your goals.”

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