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Fontella’s Success Story

It’s my anniversary! Fontella yelled coming down the hall to my office.

She knocked on my door to inform me that she is proud to announce that she is now 3 years clean of drugs and alcohol. It had been years of fighting back and forth with her addiction.

Fontella remembers how it all started at the age of 7 her stepfather introduced her to her first drink of alcohol. Her family loved to party and they loved to drink.  She thought that since they drank alcohol it was ok for her to as well.

During the course of her early childhood years she would sneak and drink and by her early teenage years marijuana and crack seemed to be the cool thing to do. Fontella said she liked the way it made her feel. At the age of 17 she had her first child and 2 years later had her second son.

Being a mother did not stop her from getting high . Fortunately, her son’s were not addicted to crack.  As the years past Fontella is now 21 and she is working and has her own apartment to take care of her children still getting high but not as bad as before because she can now function enough to work every day and take care of the kids. It is now 1987 and her mother dies in her sleep.

Fontella became very depressed and felt like life was not worth living. Her addiction became worse again the crack and alcohol became her priority. Due to her neglecting everything including her children they were taken away by the state. She agreed to let her cousin and her husband to have custody of  the children because she knew that she was not ready to let go of her addiction. In 2001 she was tired of her lifestyle and listen to her family and went into rehab at Jude House. Her stay there started out shaky but after 6 months of being clean she was back out in the world on her own determined to do the right thing.  She kept her job at Burger King  and got an apartment in Indian Head, Maryland.

Fontella started a relationship with a man that was in recovery as well. The relationship was shaky because he became disrespectful to her and started to use again. This made Fontella really upset because she felt that she could not be strong enough to be around something that took her so long to get out of her life. Her being stressed out by this man made her relapse. How could she get her children back and how could she still uphold her job and apartment that she had now for 2 years. Well she didn’t, all the things she had began, she begin to lose and out on the streets is where she ended up again. After a couple years went by of her using, she called her brother and said that she was tired of living this way.

In 2004 her brother came to the Eastern Shore to get her and go to Baltimore so she could get herself together. As they arrived in Baltimore her brother said that I could stay a couple days with him after that I was on my on. She wondered why her brother was being so cold to put her out on the streets of a city she new nothing about. She began to worry and slept real restless her last day at her brothers because she knew she did not want to use and Baltimore City was known for being infested with drugs. Her brother gave her some resources of places to go for help and she went to some of them but she felt like they were’nt really going to help her now. As she walked the streets she cried asking god to help her through her addiction and give her a place to stay. She ended up at a shelter Browns Memorial. Everyday she would get up look for work talk to her brother and go to her N.A meetings about 3 times a week to keep her strong. Finally, one day she talked to her counselor about housing and the counselor said she could refer her to the Women’s Housing Coalition.

A few days past and her counselor pulled her up and told her that she had an interview scheduled at The Women’s Housing Coalition with the Director. She was so excited that god was answering her prayers now that she chose to live life the right way. After having the interview the Director informed me of all the things she needed to get in so she was going to make sure she got them so she would no longer be homeless. She told her brother of the good news and he told her that she had to be determined and she would make results which she did. He said he had to give her some tough love. Now it is 3 years later of being in the program and I am working full-time as a cook for the state correctional facility I enjoy my job but most of all I enjoy having a lovely place to stay with positive people in my life.

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