A New Life

“I never thought I’d say it, but living at a shelter was the best thing that ever happened to me. I’m proud to say I was at Calvary. It set me free.”

After many years of abusing drugs, Paula had finally had enough. “Coming to Calvary, I was at right place at the right time,” Paula said. “I had burned all my bridges, and I was embarrassed.” She had been unsteadily employed for years, and had been staying with friends on and off. She was in her 50’s when she came to Calvary.

She credits the mental health and addiction recovery services at Calvary with saving her life. Paula had been abused early in her life, and began using drugs soon afterwards to cope with the abuse. She said, “I didn’t realize back then what had caused my behavior.”

Getting sober was her proudest accomplishment while at our programs. “It’s confidence,” she said of her sobriety. “It gave me hope. I saw a light. Calvary made me believe I could do something.”

With the help from her case manager and the therapist, she began to turn her life around. She said, “My case manager showed how to make my goals doable – step by step. To have someone who really cares about you is a boost. It made all the difference in the world. I felt I was a part of something.” The therapist worked with Paula to help deal with her past traumas and manage her anger.

Paula also began attending classes through Calvary’s Life Skills, Education, and Arts Program. She actively participated in classes that helped rebuild self-esteem and began preparing for a new career path in mock interview sessions and resume critique classes. While she was at Calvary, she made a goal to become a bus driver, and with the support of her case manager, she followed through. Paula enrolled in training and recently got her CDL learner’s permit.

Now, Paula is proud to say that she is living on her own again. She continues to attend groups to maintain her sobriety. Paula is active in her church and is involved in volunteer work with youth in the community. Even with her full life, she still makes time to come back and visit with her case manager at Calvary whenever she’s in the neighborhood. “Calvary is powerful,” she says. “I’m glad they gave me a chance. Now I’ve got new life.”

Recent Posts

Back to Blog
January 20, 2023

Meet Our Board: Vice President, Caitlin Sickl…

Caitlin Sickles accepted the position of Vice President of the Calvary Women’s Services (Calvary) Board of Directors in October 2022 after serving on the Development Committee. Caitlin has lived i…
September 27, 2022

First In-Person Community Walk a Huge Success

Calvary Women’s Services had an incredible turnout for the first in-person In This Together Community Walk! Over 90 supporters and friends came together at Anacostia Park on Saturday to walk t…
December 14, 2022

Volunteer Spotlight: Fall 2022 Intern

Caleb Klaehn Haightt joined Calvary Women’s Services this year as a fall intern. He grew up in Boston, MA with his two moms and younger brother. During high school, Caleb volunteered with his local…