I grew up in a rough situation. I began using marijuana because I didn’t know what to do with my depression and the experiences I had been through. It was actually my mom who introduced me to crack. And then eventually I turned to meth when a boyfriend was using it.

Despite her drug use, Devondrayia always had a stable job and housing. Unfortunately, she found out how quickly things can change.

In 2018, the manager of my building touched me in inappropriate ways, and I was so scared to be homeless that I just went along with it. Then, he got greedy and sold the building without giving anyone notice, and the new manager raised the rent by over 20%. I couldn’t afford it – so after all that, I ended up on the street anyway.

I had nowhere to go, and I couldn’t keep my job while I was homeless. I couldn’t shower or prepare food, all the things I was used to doing. I would ride the bus all day just to stay warm. I looked for safety anywhere and even stayed with a man who assaulted me. I went back to him even though he spit on me and shoved me just so I could have a place off the streets.

So, after that, you can imagine how thankful I was to find the women’s shelter. At the Mission I didn’t have to
compete with the men for services. I didn’t have to worry about food. . . I even started to work with employment services.

All the staff really wanted to help me. They helped me get my eviction record removed from when I was illegally evicted and helped me learn to manage my medication so my mental health could stabilize. I wouldn’t have had the chance to do that without the support of the staff.

While staying at the shelter Devondrayia chose to join our Women’s New Life Recovery Program. Though her addiction hadn’t caused her homelessness, she knew addressing it was vital for long-term stability.

Having a supportive community around me made it possible to stay sober. The recovery program manager, Brenda, just wrapped her arms around me. We could talk to her about anything. Having a roof over my head was huge, and I had counselors to talk to about the root of my addiction.

Even though I graduated from the program and moved to my own apartment, I’m still able to see my counselors and go through the program curriculum with Brenda. The staff didn’t just watch me go – they made sure I was good now that I’m on my own.

Devondrayia now has true stability, a supportive community, and hope for a bright future. All thanks to the generosity of community members like you!

You can give a gift today to make a difference for another woman facing the dangers of the streets, at trm.org/donate.