My name is Lurinda and I am proud to share my story with you.
I grew up in Southeast D.C., where life was rough. I watched my mother being abused. I looked around my neighborhood and saw nothing but killing, drugs, and poverty.
When you grow up like that, you don’t realize that anything else is possible. It feels almost inevitable that I ended up in the same situation as my mom, staying with an abusive husband and trying to escape my surroundings and hang onto my broken family.
What started out as curiosity at age 19 spiraled into a full-blown drug addiction in my 20s. When I saw other people who were high, I thought, “Wow, I want to feel like that.”
I didn’t want the responsibility of dealing with the trauma and all I had witnessed growing up. And although I hadn’t been diagnosed yet, drugs were the only way my younger self knew how to cope with my bipolar disorder, depression, and psychosis.
In the end, my 14-year addiction to drugs cost me everything – my kids, my family, all of it.
I went into recovery the first three times to try to get them back. But I kept falling into the same cycle. I knew I had to change or I was going to lose my family forever, or even die. That’s when I got to N Street Village’s Recovery Program, which was my fourth time trying to establish and maintain sobriety. To be honest, I didn’t want to be here at first.
Finally it hit me – I’d spent all those other times trying to get other things back, but first I had to get me back.
That realization – combined with learning how to set goals and a stable environment to take care of my mental health – started me down the long process of rebuilding my life at N Street Village.
The Lurinda writing to you today is totally different. She’s able to look in the mirror and see a woman who is wise, trustworthy, and courageous.
I graduated from the Village Recovery Program and moved into my own room in Permanent Supportive Housing on the fourth floor. Now, I am able to be a mom again. I volunteer at the Village’s Wellness Center to give back. I returned to school and got my GED. Then, taking the next step, I went even further and graduated from Cosmetology School. I have a good job that I love.
Today, I am excited to share that I’ve just gotten my own apartment, something I never would have dreamed of seven years ago. I am grateful for everyone who has made this possible, including you!
I talk with women I meet at the Village who are just starting their journey of recovery. I know they need a safe place to call home, just like I did. Today, you can give the gift of hope and opportunity to another woman like me.
Every dollar makes a difference in the story of the next woman who arrives at N Street Village.
Want to support a woman like Lurinda? Make your 2018 tax-deductible gift today and your donation will be doubled – up to $40,000 – by our Board of Directors. Every dollar makes a difference!