“I feel proud of myself today. I am an example of what is possible.”
Peggie grew up in D.C. in a large family – the oldest girl with 12 siblings. Her father was a minister and her mother worked for the Department of Agriculture. After graduating from high school and finishing some college courses, Peggie worked as a kindergarten teacher for three years.
Peggie started dating; she and her boyfriend were drinking and partying and Peggie found herself pregnant. A few years after her son was born, her boyfriend left her and her son to survive on their own. Peggie got a job with Child Protective Services, but continued to drink – “I thought alcohol would cure my pain.”
After the birth of her second child, Peggie continued to work for Child Protective Services. She thought she had her drinking under control. That all changed when she went to work drunk one day and promptly lost the job she loved.
Peggie struggled to keep a steady job, and somehow managed despite her continued drinking. However, during the economic downturn in 2009, Peggie lost another job and shortly after lost her house.
“I spiraled out – I couldn’t deal with life anymore.”
After years of drinking, Peggie was ready for a change. She reached out to her son, who did some research online and found N Street Village. After entering the Village Day Center and meeting Evelyn Green, Day Services Manager, Peggie felt ready to make real, positive change. She entered the Village Recovery Housing program.
While in the Recovery Housing program, Peggie worked with Theatre Lab and other residents to create a play about their life experience and recovery journey. They performed the production at a sold-out, one night show at the Kennedy Center. The filmmaker Nicole Boxer captured entire process inan award-winning documentary, How I Got Over.
After graduating from the Recovery Program, Peggie left N Street Village to live with family in Baltimore. Unfortunately, it was not the best environment for Peggie’s recovery and she starting drinking again. After another trip to detox, she knew she couldn’t do it on her own. In December 2015 Peggie walked through the doors of the Village again. She felt embarrassed that she had come back, she was afraid she would be seen as a failure, but she was ready to recommit herself to recovery. When she walked into the Village Day Center, Evelyn greeted her with open arms and without judgement – “Where have you been? We missed you!”
Peggie continues to work hard at recovery and is a mentor in the Village. She hopes to find permanent housing soon and become an advocate for other women in need.