With young children in tow, a recent divorce, and a move back to DC, Sherrilyn (who had a government job at the time) got involved with drugs in her early thirties. It was not long before she was spiraling out of control–she lost her job, lost custody of her daughters and lost her housing. Frequently in and out of jail due to drugs, she tried to get clean, but somehow always wound up homeless and using again.
“Drugs had control of my life,” Sherrilyn says. “I had no place to go…I was devastated to be homeless.”
After nine months in federal prison for distribution and another stint in rehab, Sherrilyn craved a change but still found her addiction too powerful. “Everyone was trying to help me, but I was still sneaking drugs every chance I got.”
In February 2013, the last member of her family who was still speaking with her died – at that point Sherrilyn realized she was completely alone. She had burned every bridge she had and she found herself on the streets once again. Sherrilyn knew she had to make real change in her life if she was to survive.
Then someone recommended N Street Village.
Sherrilyn’s first day in the Bethany Day Center was much like that of many women who come through our doors – she came in simply for a safe place and a warm meal, and she received so much more. There was a community waiting for her.
After meeting with Evelyn Green, N Street Village alumna and manager of the Day Center, Sherrilyn knew what she had to do and was ready to do it. She knew this time was going to be different.
“The programs at N Street Village help,” Sherrilyn says, “because they bring together women who share their personal stories and show you that change is possible.”
Sherrilyn began to focus on her recovery and she worked hard to reclaim her life. It was not easy, but she now had the tools, resources and support provided by N Street Village.
“Things were getting progressively better for me,” Sherrilyn recalls. “I wanted to do the right thing and thanks to the help I was getting, I could do it.”
In January 2014, Sherrilyn’s hard work started to pay off. When she had six months of recovery, a spot opened up in N Street Village’s permanent housing. With stable housing in a safe, caring community, she then took on the next task – finding employment. Sherrilyn now has a job at Giant, a supermarket.
“I’m just a bagger, but it’s important to me,” Sherrilyn says, grateful for her job. “I’m finally satisfied with myself.”