Inspired To Help
Daphane and Kimberly are a power duo with “lived experience” who are passionate to assist new moms and their infants in building a better future through recovery. They each turned to Santa Maria when their own lives were unmanageable. As SMH alums, Daphne and Kimberly share much in common because of the similarity of their struggles.
Both credit Santa Maria with giving them the tools to choose a path to recovery. Daphne and Kimberly joined our staff as a recovery coach and a linkage specialist respectively. They are able to impact their clients because they are relatable and real.
They both remember the moment that a SMH staff member inspired them to follow a path of training and education beyond their own battle with substance use. They each became motivated to help others find hope and opportunity. “While listening to my family counselor at Jacquelyn, I decided right there and then that I would become a counselor myself,” says Kimberly. She continues, “All I needed was for someone to tell me you can do this. I found that at Santa Maria. In fact, I found respect and dignity here. I would have taken anything, any job to work here; they saved my life.”
As a 2015 graduate of our treatment program, Kimberly fought for recovery after 36 years without a day sober. She followed her daughter to treatment and began to believe in herself. Since her graduation, she has been on a journey of learning. She went back to school and received both her bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work. While waiting to take the LMSW, (Licensed Master Social Work), she was accepted into the school of her choice, St. Edwards University, where Kimberly is currently enrolled in a Doctorate program in Education.
In only 18 months since her release, Daphne has put her incarceration for a drug- related crime far behind her. While in prison, she sought treatment and stayed in recovery groups, ready to make a change. After release, she moved to Paschall (SMH’s Women’s Recovery Residence and Community Center) for the sober housing and support services. She completed an associate’s degree in business management on the computers in the center’s lab. She seized the opportunity as an essential worker in a food service industry to move from part to full time, despite the pandemic. She was grateful for the work and the paycheck.
While working in the computer lab, Daphane was influenced and motivated by our recovery coach staff in action across the hall. She realized that there was a recovery coach training opportunity for her to complete that allowed her to work with women like herself and share her success. She completed her certification and found her new position with our prevention staff.
Daphane and Kimberly are concerned that the necessary COVID-19 restrictions are keeping them from their vital community-based outreach. Their team mission is to reach and connect with the many vulnerable women who may not traditionally seek services for substance use disorder and available prenatal or postpartum assistance. By design, they co-locate in medical clinics, community centers and the county jail. Several of our 18 community partners are still not allowing in-person visits, following strict pandemic protocols. In the interim, the team has been providing the majority of their outreach through referral and by Zoom, phone and other virtual means. They fear that many women are not being connected to services. With the isolation and disruption of the pandemic, they also know that the numbers of women who need help is rising. They have adapted their approach, being flexible to the times, but are eager for a return to in-person community outreach work when safety allows. They are committed to helping as many women as possible to finding life in recovery.
THEY ARE THE FACES OF RECOVHERY.