When Robyn was two years old, her mother died in a car accident and her father was left to raise her and her two sisters alone. Her father was caring and taught them to stick together, but things changed when they moved them into a new environment where the house was constantly filled with people and often drugs. A boy who also lived there started sexually abusing Robyn. She feared her father’s anger and never told anyone about the abuse. At 14 years old she started using drugs to mask the pain of the abuse.
The years that followed were filled with a cycle of drugs, prostitution, arrest, detox and homelessness. While at a clinic in the late 1980s, Robyn was diagnosed as HIV positive and the doctor told her she was going to die. She felt hopeless and her addiction continued for another 30 years.
In 2014, after exiting another detox program, Robyn heard about N Street Village. She decided to visit the Village Day Center for lunch. Robyn immediately liked the community and began returning daily. Robyn later entered the N Street Village Recovery Housing Program. The intense program was tough for Robyn, who admits she never did well with taking direction or following rules.
Robyn didn’t realize it, but the N Street Village staff were working on a more permanent housing option for her. After the Capital Campaign construction was complete at Miriam’s House, our housing program for women living with HIV, Robyn was offered her very own apartment for the first time in her life.
Robyn has thrived at Miriam’s House and is focused on her health and sobriety. She recently had knee replacement surgery – something she wouldn’t have been able to handle before. Once her knee is fully healed, she hopes to get a part-time job working with dogs.