Registration for the Recovery Coach Training is now closed. Please contact LaNisha Jiles if you will like to be added on the wait list and be notified about future trainings.
ADDICTION, RECOVERY, HOUSING, PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION PROGRAMS
Our friends from ExxonMobil did it again! On Tuesday October 24, a group of volunteers from ExxonMobil came to Santa Maria Hostel-Bonita House and worked on several projects around our Residence. They did landscaping work, indoor and outdoor painting projects as well as organizing our storage room! By the end of the day we finished with an ice cream social for volunteers and clients to enjoy. All in all it was a productive and fun day! Thank you to our caring volunteers!
We’d like to sincerely thank Rev. Karen Jacobs and The Jewels of Brentwood from Brentwood Baptist Church for organizing A Day of Compassion at the Santa Maria Jacquelyn Residences. Thank you for showing our clients your love, support and mentor them as they strive to rebuild their lives.
Our sincere gratitude goes out to the large group of volunteers from ConocoPhillips that came to our Jacquelyn Residences as part of their Day of Caring on Wednesday October 12, 2017.
They did a terrific job and were able to accomplish so much. The painting projects included the laundry room, the large dorm for our Emergency Shelter clients and our perimeter iron fence. They also organized and cleaned three large sheds and maintained five large flowerbeds. On top of that they were able to make signs to decorate the campus for Halloween!
“It is amazing what 60-70 people can accomplish in a few hours,” said Spencer Sharp an Associate Engineer from ConocoPhillips. And he added: “In addition to the physical accomplishments, I think we all enjoyed getting to hear and see a little insight into those women’s lives. I am glad we were able to help them out in a small way”.
Santa Maria and the women we serve appreciate everything that you did.
Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) promotes Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use issues and to celebrate communities. On October 7, 2017, The Big Texas Rally for Recovery served as the culmination of the many activities that took place during Recovery Month in September.
People from the Recovery Community gathered this year in Galveston, for the Big Texas Rally for Recovery to generate a unified message of hope, strength, and courage for people and families in recovery from, or still struggling with, substance use. And Santa Maria was of course present!
Pictured below is part of our staff who attended the Rally with Nadine Scamp, CEO of Santa Maria (far right).
Pictured below are some of the Recovery Coaches who attended the Rally, with Mary Covington, STAR Drug Court Program Director (far right).
Pictured below are Coaches Traci and Petra with The Honorable Judge Denise Bradley.
Our sincere appreciation to Exxon Mobil for their Day of Caring on Friday October 6. This group of volunteers came to our Jacquelyn Residences and painted our dining room and improved our flower beds and fencing! Thank you!!
Meet Joni Jobeths, 27 years old, a mother of three children who is now in recovery. She tells us how she has greatly benefited from participating in the MOMMIES Pregnant and Postpartum Intervention Program. Joni says she is sharing her story, “not because there is a lot of good in my past, but as a way to help others who can learn from my struggles.”
She came to the MOMMIES Program 8 months ago when she was 18 weeks pregnant and with a heavy heart. She had been feeling scared, guilty, shameful and worried to say the least. She has a history of depression and began self-medicating at an early age, including using opiates. Her battle with addiction to opiates goes back for 10 years.
“Before finding about Santa Maria, I contacted many other different places and nobody would take me because I was pregnant… it was very discouraging but I was determined to get help and get clean,” says Joni.
Joni was linked to a medication assisted treatment (MAT) provider and referred to Santa Maria for concurrent residential treatment, where she successfully completed 120 days of residential services. “Without Santa Maria, the PPI Program, and without this amazing group of people, I could not have been able to accomplish what I have done. I’ve gone to other detox programs in the past but they didn’t work for me” she continued.
Joni’s problems with addiction were lodged deep inside her. The traumas left from her depression, self-mutilation and being bullied at school needed to be addressed. “I didn’t really understand those traumas until I came to Santa Maria. Here, with the help of my counselors, coaches, peers and my sponsor, I was able to take the time to reflect about my self and learn everything I know today…. I learned so much about myself, about my addiction. I learned the coping mechanisms; I learned to recognize my triggers and what to do about them. Now I have the knowledge, the tools and I have a team of people that support me, motivate me and inspire me… It means the world to know that I count on them for anything and everything” she beamed.
While feeding her baby, Joni continues, “Thanks to the MOMMIES Program from Santa Maria, I was blessed to have my daughter born in perfect condition, she was full term, she weighted almost 8 pounds. She is 8 weeks old now and is a happy and healthy baby. I’m trying my hardest, I still attend outpatient meetings, I’m working on my 12 steps and on my recovery every single day. It’s not easy but I’m doing the best I can, just taking it one day at a time.”
Joni knows she is one of the lucky ones to have overcome her struggles. Just in the past four months, seven of her friends back home have passed away from overdose. “It is shocking and sad” she mumbles and continues to explain, “So, I want others to know that change is possible. I hope others realize with my story that addiction is a disease, it’s not a choice and with the support of programs like this one, we are able to educate and advocate for recovery. Often people don’t want to get help because they are afraid of what others will think about their addiction.”
Joni’s heart is filled with hope now… She is about to complete her GED and is confident she will continue her education at a community college in the fall. “I want to go to school, I know that will open a door to a big start. I want to make my family proud… Now just telling my story I look back and I realized how far I’ve come, and this actually makes me feel proud of myself, and this is a good feeling!” she exclaimed.
Letter to My Mother was awarded for Best Short Film Documentary at the International Film Festival in Madrid on July 2017.
We’d like to congratulate the author Branislav Jankic, the film producers Monica Jagaciak, and Goran Macura and their team. Santa Maria Hostel is very proud to be part of this project.
Letter to My Mother is a visual and literary body of work created by artist Branislav Jankic that seeks to raise awareness of and change the conversation around addiction in order to lift the stigma and create an international support system for those suffering from this disease. Particularly, mothers.
For more information about Letter to My Mother, visit: https://lettertomymother.us
At a very young age Sonja found herself drinking alcohol as a way to suppress the trauma she had gone through in her childhood. Later on she found in cocaine the consolation she needed when life just simply wasn’t going her way.
She had a tough childhood. Her dad passed away when she was 6 years old. She grew up watching her mother and grandmother suffer from alcoholism. Her mom passed away at the age of 44 from cirrhosis of the liver. Two of her uncles also died of the same disease. “It runs in my family”, she said. “So I knew I had to do something different with my life.”
As a result of her addiction, she ran into problems with the law and was charged with both assault and possession of narcotics, resulting in 2 years of probation. During this time, Sonja realized that in order to put her life in order and break from her family’s history, she had to be honest with herself and surrender – so she asked for help.
“I was so nervous to go to jail; I didn’t know what to expect. It was hard, but I just knew I had to do it”. Her family was supportive, and they knew Sonja was determined; she wanted to do it for herself but also for her 10 year old daughter who is living with her grandmother while she seeks treatment.
After a month and a half at the Harris County Jail, Sonja was transferred to Santa Maria Hostel where she was admitted into residential treatment and was introduced to the Women’s Access Project Houston (WAPH). She completed 3 months of the WAPH Program while in residential treatment, followed by 4 months as outpatient. While still in treatment she suffered the loss of 2 family members: her uncle and cousin, both deaths within a week of each other. These unfortunate events lead Sonja to a relapse. “Luckily I had the best team of counselors and coaches who took me under their wings from day one. They know that things can happen and are here not to judge but to help me in my recovery.”
This episode of relapse reminded Sonja to stay humble, to work on sobriety and recovery every single day. “In order to deal with addiction I have to deal with my trauma and my emotions. I had to start by forgiving my mother, my grandmother and especially myself.”
“I have a lot of ‘wow’ moments, where I am able to recognize the reason behind my actions and that gives me so much confidence in myself… I don’t regret anything that has happened because thanks to my past I am who I am today. Recovery has made me a better person.”
“I’m forever grateful to SMH for the role it has played in my life. It has been a life changing experience. They change lives for real, they changed mine.”
Now Sonja is part of the Transitional Living program (HUD) at SMH, which she calls her “safe heaven”. She now has a full time job, studies Business Administration at South University, serves as a member of the Peer Advisory Council of SMH and has big dreams for herself.
“Some times it’s overwhelming but I just feel determined. I prioritize and I get it done. I find motivation when I look back at how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown as a person. I’m putting in the work now and the sky is the limit”.
SMH and her Recovery Support Team made such an impact in Sonja’s life that she wants to advocate for recovery as a way to give back. “I turned my life around and I’m making the difference in my family… because I’m doing things differently. Now I want to make the difference in someone else’s life too”.
I want to thank my supporters and superheroes in my recovery including my sponsor, and loving boyfriend, who have been backing up my each and every positive stage of progression.
My largest of appreciation is to God’s amazing mercy and grace that has covered my life. Jonah said “But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.” And the Lord has said “I will heal your waywardness and love you freely, for my anger has turned away from you.” Jonah’s pit was in the belly of a whale, while mine was found in a life of spiritually stunted growth. A life in which I constantly looked into soulless eyes around me and together were sold once again to a chemical fix, instead of God’s warm embrace and that of those who desperately wanted to save me. It has taken a lot of forgiveness of my past, and accepting the lessons has become a means for persevering. Not all lessons in my life were negative consequences, once I realized that God’s will for me would never be to harm me, but to make me prosperous. One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned since being at Santa Maria was that just because I’d finally decided to recover, didn’t mean everyone would trust my decision to do so. My parents aren’t present, but I know today they did the best they could, or knew. At some point they had to choose their own lives, or the unmanageability of mine. “The Lord says “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you” and Psalms 27:10 says “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. His love for me far exceeds that of any love on Earth, and through his love I am able to love those who I must at a distance. Bill W once said “we will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and grow.”
I never want another human being to know the pain and suffering of addiction and those it effects. But the hope that I’ve found I want all to have. I am at peace today and as I indulge in the serene aspects of my new living, I believe in me. I believe though I always can’t He can, and I let Him. Despite the tornado I was in the eye of, one so many know too well. “You Lord, are our father, we are the clay, you are the potter. We are all the work of you hand.” The works of far exceeded the destruction of mine time and time again, and He has made no mistake in His creation. Thank you Santa Maria Jacquelyn staff for your patience, tolerance and understanding – the code of recovery.
“Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace” (Luke 8:48)
Hi my name is Chelsey and I am a woman in long term recovery and what that means to me is that I have not found it necessary to use any drugs since September 7 of 2016. Without the help from staff in the Mirrors program and the counseling they’ve provided for me I wouldn’t have made it this far without the use of drugs. My recovery coach and family coach have made a big impact in my life. Keeping me on track, how not to isolate myself from others and family members. Mirrors staff have given me patience with open arms (Big Hearts) always willing to help, taking the time to talk and listen to whatever it may be. Also a big impact on reuniting with family and staying very strong in my recovery.
These women are here to really support and help to their best and I really love and appreciate it. Y’all have made me very comfortable to talk and let go a lot of things that were weighing on me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m on a never-ending journey called recovery, I’m clean and sober, and I’m doing it just for me.
Recovery is a true passion and mission in my life. I am a powerful advocate for recovery and for recovering birth mothers. Santa Maria planted a seed in me and taught me how to live without using drugs or alcohol. I am extremely thankful for the knowledge and information given to me that has equipped me with a recovery tool belt to use whenever addiction wants to fight it’s hardest! I am a member of PAC and continue to share my story and help others who come behind me at Santa Maria. I left Santa Maria in July of 2016 and I am now a productive woman in recovery who strives for my full potential daily. I am a woman of long term recovery and what that means to me is I have not felt it necessary to drink, drug, use any mind altering substances, or commit any crimes since January 29, 2016. I truly give all my thanks to God and Santa Maria. I am truly blessed! Thank you,
Before I found recovery I had come to a place in my life where I felt not just broken, but shattered. As I began to develop and grow in my recovery I was able to put the pieces back together and I began to come alive again through the hope and encouragement I was given by others. I was able to find my purpose and to really live a happy and self-fulfilled life. Thank you Santa Maria.
Santa Maria has helped me in many aspects of my life. I’ve learned how to live a healthy life without drugs. Santa Maria has helped me to believe in myself and others. I’ve also learned how to have healthy boundaries. I have learned to love myself again.
– Stephanie B
Santa Maria is more than a place for recovery. I have learned a great deal on how to cope, get support, and work legally for my life. My recovery coaches who help me understand my addition along with my counselor continue to inspire me. I love the Peer Advisory Council and my family is getting stable by making better choices today!
How many times have I reviewed my relapse prevention materials to keep me on task. I have finally landed a home support group with my Sponsor Francis and we are going to sober events together. I am completing probation in the next few months and this experience has been helpful to keep discipline with my behaviors. Overall, my probation officer will join me on my birthday night celebration, which is more than amazing.
Santa Maria gave me a life filled with HOPE… Thanks to God and everyone who loved me until I could love myself.
Thanks to my Recovery I am now living a life beyond my wildest dreams! I had no idea that people felt like this. For the first time in my life I know what peace and joy feel like. I have purpose and meaning in my life and I am usefully whole. I am a taxpaying, volunteering asset to my community. Best of all I once again am a mother. Thank you Santa Maria.
– Sharon H
Every day is a winding road, but to each there is a destination. Choosing whether to reach it or to detour, becomes the common struggle. To each day there is a lesson as well as to each success and each mistake. Seeking God’s lessons instead of looking for what we think should have happened can be difficult but the parallel of light and darkness are like oil and water. Change who I am, all that I’ve thought I’ve consisted of. Rediscovering God’s purpose for me, not based on selfish will. Trusting the unknown, and departing from ol’ reliable but walking a narrow path beats lying in a ditch. The embrace of God far exceeds the grip of death around my neck. Angel whispers in my ear saying you can do it, instead of the voice in my head, the disease, saying I can’t. I am changing, one day at a time, one second and not too much more. Forward not backward with full resilience. This is my change.
Santa Maria Hostel has given me the opportunity to make a better life not only for my children, but also for myself. Being at Santa Maria taught me responsibility, structure, boundaries, as well as how to love myself again. I also learned how to be a better parent, a better person, and that it is possible to enjoy life being sober. Sincerely,