JAZMYNE FINISHED SHARING her story with a smile. Bright sun streamed in from the window behind her. Her whole face lit up. When we wrote this article in January 2014, Jazmyne was a student at Everest College in the Addictions and Community Services program near the end of her studies. She was thrilled to be completing a placement with Community Mental Health Programs (CMHP) through Mission Services of London. “I understand what clients are going through because I’ve been there myself,” she says.
Eight years ago Jazmyne had a very different life. At 17 she moved out of the house and dropped out of high school. She was in a relationship and they both started using drugs all the time. She was constantly being evicted for not paying rent. “All my money went to my addiction,” she said.
In January 2007 she had a daughter, and six months later her mom and dad discovered that Jazmyne was battling addiction. Her parents went to court to receive full custody and would allow access only if she could produce a clean drug test. “There wasn’t much hope of that with me becoming an IV drug user and bouncing in and out of jail.”
Fearing that her lifestyle would lead to death, Jazmyne reached out to Rob at Streetscape – a program for individuals in crisis as part of CMHP. On Dec. 24, 2008 she entered Turning Point recovery home in London. She became clean and was able to see her daughter. She was in a new relationship and had a son in Sept. 2009.
Life was fairly stable even though she drank socially with her boyfriend. In July 2011, however, her world spun out of control again. Her son was put into foster care and she had to face up to another addiction—alcohol. “I didn’t have much left. And I didn’t want my children to have this kind of life.”
Again, Jazmyne turned to Mission Services to get help and find treatment. “I relied on Crashbeds (emergency shelter at CMHP) as a place to go; they became like a family. I received a lot of support from other women at the 12-Step meetings I attended. Also, I knew that unless I went back to school a turn-around wasn’t going to happen for me, so I enrolled in college.”
Jazmyne now has a happy with her son at home, and her daughter who lives with her mom a few doors down. Maintaining stability is something she has to work on continually. She gives a lot of credit to her mom, saying, “She is a constant support; she never gave up on me.”
Learn more about Community Mental Health Programs.
(Story from Curb Notes January 2014 – cover)