At the Haven, Corey finds sobriety, stability, and skills to build a new life
Corey and his girlfriend, Krysta, moved to Vermont from Massachusetts in 2015 with their two-year-old son to try and make a fresh start. “It wasn’t as easy as we had hoped to find jobs and housing,” he recounts. After staying with different friends, the family finally landed at the Haven’s Byrne Family Shelter. “We were one of the lucky ones,” Corey says, explaining that the stability of shelter gave the couple an opportunity to work on their substance abuse issues. “The Haven was able to connect us with services to help with our addiction. They gave us the space to get back on our feet and financially stable again.”
Corey’s lack of financial stability had left him unable to pay child support to a previous partner, a circumstance that led him to lose his Massachusetts driver’s license. The Haven put him in touch with a pro bono attorney who helped Corey through the process of clearing the $1,000 debt and getting his Vermont license.
Once the couple moved out into an apartment with their son, they began meeting monthly with Family Supportive Housing Service Coordinator Amy Beston. “Amy helped us with things like budgeting, working on our credit, and planning for the future,” Corey says. That plan included a new job for Corey; he had been working in restaurant kitchens but found that it didn’t fit with his sobriety. “I trained with a meat cutter at one of the local grocery stores. Amy helped me apply for a Tipping Point grant so I could buy my own knives—something you need if you want to do this professionally.” Corey is now a meat cutter at the Co-op Food Stores. “This isn’t a job. It’s my career,” he says. “I’ve learned so much, and I’m going to keep learning.”
Things are looking up for Corey and Krysta. Their son turned eight in February; they are also engaged and saving up to buy a house. “We wouldn’t be where we are without the Haven,” he concludes. “The Haven gives people so much more than food and shelter. It gives people independence. I’m almost in tears even talking about it—I’m so grateful.”