Thomure has faced adversity since the beginning. Her biological mother was addicted to drugs during her pregnancy and Thomure herself was addicted at birth. Shortly thereafter, her mother went to prison. Thomure was adopted by a family friend named Phyllis who worked in law enforcement and was dedicated to helping Thomure get healthy. Phyllis bought a house and tried hard to create a stable and loving home.
Thomure’s teenage years were turbulent. She had suspensions from school and sometimes ran away from home. She fell in with a dangerous crowd and was the victim of violence. At age 14, she was placed in a residential program and while there she learned that her biological mother had been murdered.
Throughout the years, however, Phyllis was a constant, always extending her love and support.
Thomure started using drugs in her teenage years and as she looks back now she is aware that this was a way of masking her pain. Drug addiction soon lured her into other dangerous situations and she felt trapped in a cycle of drugs, violence, prostitution and abuse.
However, her inner strength and resilience were obvious as she completed her GED at age 18 and began to attend community college. At age 21, she completed a certification program which qualified her for well-paying tech jobs. Sadly, her plans were sidetracked by her drug use and another abusive relationship.
As Thomure’s addiction continued to spiral, she had several arrests and served prison time. She also learned that she had kidney damage from her drug use. By her mid-twenties, she had lost hope for her future and esteem for herself.
And then, in April 2016, Thomure reconnected with Phyllis. She was honest with Phyllis about her struggles and she asked for help. Together they found N Street Village.
Thomure first stayed at the newly opened Pat Handy Place for Women, N Street Village’s emergency and temporary housing program. She took advantage of the programs that were available. She has always loved learning and she enrolled in the D.C. Central Kitchen culinary training program. Thomure also dedicated herself to recovery and was glad to learn more about the disease of addiction and about the impact of trauma. She began to have compassion for herself and to build up her self-awareness and her pride.
In December of 2016, Thomure was thrilled to move into an apartment of her own at the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA. The following month she also graduated from the DC Central Kitchen Training Program.