Sherron Lee is a former client and employee of N Street Village, who spoke at the 11th Annual Empowerment Luncheon on June 15, 2017.
“I was born and raised in Washington, DC. I had a great life, a wonderful husband, two children, and a 23 year career with the Washington Police Department.” As a drastic before and after picture flashed upon the big screen, Lee shared, “At 36, I was at an emotionally distressed place. I turned to alcohol and then cocaine to fill the void, and I lost everything. I escaped to NY, and I experienced every bad thing that could happen to a woman on drugs in NY: I am the survivor of emotional, physical and sexual abuse.” Her turning point, she says, is when some police offers stopped to say hello to her, and she remembered a glimmer of her past life. She got on the Greyhound bus back to DC. “When I got off that bus, I had a choice: I could go back to the place where I used, or I could go home to my mother’s house. I chose my mother’s house, and shortly thereafter I went to detox. And from there, I went to N Street Village.”
Lee’s path to recovery wasn’t easy. She recalled, “It took me six years. I stress that -the first year I didn’t know who I was, the second year I didn’t know who I was. But after six years of coming back to N Street Village, I finally knew.” Her journey included participating in 12 step programs, meeting with a nurse at the Wellness Center who got her health back in order, and a new set of teeth provided by a pro-bono dentist who serves the Village community. Lee said the anchor that kept her going was something surprisingly mundane and tedious: A daily chore. “Even when I got into the residential program, I knew I still needed help from NSV. So, even when I got a full-time job, I still came back each evening for my chores – picking up cigarette butts. It doesn’t sound glamourous, but it was so important to me – to have that chore. I just kept coming back to the Village.” In 2009, N Street Village offered Lee a position as a staff member, serving as a program assistant for residents going through the recovery program, which inspired her to go on and earn her Certified Addition Counselor, or CAC, certification.
While in recovery, she met a man who was also in recovery. A friendship blossomed, and six years later, she became his wife.
Lee proudly announced, “It has been 13 years of my sobriety. My biggest hope is to continue my recovery and rebuild my relationship with my children and others that I harmed.” She thanked N Street Village for playing such a monumental role in her success, sharing, “I can’t say enough about N Street Village. It’s not just a job for them. The Village staff has set a great example of how I want to live.” Each year, Lee returns to the 5th floor recovery unity where she used to work to give back. “That is how I pay it forward, I share what I received at N Street Village with the next woman who will enter looking for recovery.”