Resident Success Stories
From Homeless Addicts to Sober Homeowners
Shannon H. and her partner Charles were struggling with addiction and the accompanying lifestyle that addiction brings. When their three children were detained by Children’s Services they experienced a moment of clarity. “We realized our lives had become unmanageable and we were desperate to have our children returned, so we entered drug rehab,” remembers Shannon.
In April 2013, Shannon and Charles graduated rehab and moved into CAA Esplanade House. “In the beginning it was just to get my kids back, but it ended up changing the entire direction of our lives. I ended up taking every group and class that was offered, some of them twice,” she says. The Esplanade House offers substance abuse education, parenting, budgeting, nutrition, GED, employment readiness and daily living skills.
Shannon and Charles continued moving forward. With their children returned and their hard-won sobriety, their decision-making processes weren’t filtered through their addiction. Shannon became more and more involved in the Esplanade House community, joining and serving on the Community Council. Charles began working full-time as a tile-setter and has maintained employment throughout. Shannon did the work necessary to have a prior felony expunged and now enjoys employment with the Chico School District.
“One day in Financial Literacy class, we learned how to get a copy of our credit report and I requested ours. It was terrible,” indicates Shannon. One of the reasons that Shannon and Charles have remained at CAA Esplanade House longer than is typical—typically residents stay between 18 months and 30 months—is due to that credit report. “Oftentimes, landlords won’t rent to you with bad credit,” laments Charles. That barrier has been removed through the couple’s hard work and utilizing the skills learned at CAA Esplanade House. They were just recently pre-approved for a conventional mortgage and are currently working with a real estate agent to find a place in their budget and leave CAA Esplanade House as homeowners. We couldn’t be prouder of this family and their efforts here. Staff and residents alike are inspired and will celebrate this important victory in our mission to assist homeless families.
From Nowhere to Live, to Becoming a Nurse!
I had never felt so worried in all my life; standing before the judge feeling that I had done all I could to get my daughter back. I had been sober for 9 months, gone to parenting classes and kept up with meetings. That day the judge noticed my achievements, but added, “Just one piece yet to do; you must obtain proper housing.”
In my heart I had known that this was coming. I was working hard to find a good place to be a home to my baby girl and myself. Seventeen days after she was detained, I put an application in at the Esplanade House, and had been calling them faithfully. I received their call just two days after my court hearing and my daughter and I moved in within a week. I was amazed at the immediate support I was given, it was as if hands were under me to lift me up. My new neighbors helped me move what few things I could call mine into my new apartment. I began to meet with my case manager, who assessed my needs in all areas of life. Before I knew it, I had plenty of food, better beds with nice linens, and a nice set of dishes. Everyone kept saying, “These are the gifts of sobriety.” Wow, this still brings tears to my eyes. The next week, with a schedule in my hand, I was introduced to my new drug and alcohol counselors, started a budgeting class, a parenting class, daily living skills class, and even stress reduction! With all the information I was learning, and the resourceful help of my case manager, I began to “plan my work, and work my plan” as they say at Esplanade House. Looking back, I cannot believe all the wonderful things that living at the Esplanade House has helped me accomplish. I have learned positive parenting skills, healthy eating, and how to do “self-care.”
I also went to credit counseling and I am on the road to clearing up the financial wreckage of my past. I petitioned the courts to regain the privilege to drive. With the help of my case manager, I worked out a payment plan to get my old student loans out of default so I could go back to college. I am now finishing my second semester towards a bachelor’s degree in nursing! At 34, I registered and actually voted for the first time in my life. Although these things seemed impossible to do, the most amazing thing that I have accomplished was bringing my older daughters home to live with us. This has been a huge adjustment, but the Esplanade House with its flexible hand has given us support that we could not have received elsewhere. I feel like the Esplanade House fully believed in my potential. All the staff worked closely to convince me that I could live up to that potential! In the beginning, it was so hard to grasp because I was so unsure of myself, every little thing that came up seemed mountainous. The Esplanade House has helped me shrink my obstacles down to size. They are teaching me how to navigate through those obstacles that I do not have power over, and how to change the things I do have power over!
A Single Father Reunites with His Children
I moved into the Esplanade House 6 months ago and couldn’t be happier. Before I moved here, I was trying to get my own apartment with no luck, and wasn’t accepted due to my credit score. I was desperate and was trying to get my children from Children Services Division. Without a home, I was unable to do so. With the help of the Esplanade House, I was able to get housing, get my children, and fix my credit score, all at once. I am a single father, and am very grateful to the Esplanade House for helping families get back together. With their help, we will be celebrating Christmas as a family again.
A Young Mother Expresses Her Gratitude
This Thanksgiving I can honestly celebrate. Of course I have always been thankful for my son, but that was really it. This year I get to celebrate my new life. I have never in my 34 years thought that I would be so happy to be in a program where I have to follow so many rules and unable to do as I please. I do not think I have ever been this genuinely happy ever. I am a new me for myself, my child, and my future husband. I am becoming somebody that I am proud of and I have you, the staff at the Esplanade House to thank for that. So I know this is nothing fancy, but I had to let all of you know how much you have impacted my life since I have moved in and I hope that it only gets better from here. I love myself now and you have made that possible for me. Thank you!