We share stories of success from our program here on the blog as well as on our Facebook page. While the events and circumstances of the stories are true in every detail, names have been changed to protect the identity of participants, and photos are representative of, but not the actual, participants.
I first met Sara when she came to RISE in November 2015. She was already on the road to recovery. She was very determined to get her life straightened out and be the person she knew she could be. Her struggles began as an infant when her alcoholic mother would put alcohol in her baby bottle. She was molested at age three until her first pregnancy at age 11. She was seven when she went to live with her first foster parents, who abused her. She was moved 64 times in two years ending up back with her mother. She started drinking at age 10, was introduced to cocaine and prostitution at age 13. Also at that time, she was introduced to the judicial system, spending the next 5 years in and out of various detention centers and drug/alcohol rehab centers.
Sara is as 34-year-old single mom of three. She has had nine children and has custody of her youngest three. Sara receives SSI and is seen at the Abbe Center. Sara’s 11-year-old daughter receives services at Four Oaks because of a behavior disorder, which she also receives services through the Cedar Rapids Community School District. Sara attends Celebrate Recovery and AA meetings and has been sober for 3 years.
RISE worked with Sara on enrolling and completing the PATHS program. (PATHs help a person develop new skills by providing classes, coaching and internship placement). RISE also helped Sarah after a devastating fire destroyed her home and all her belongings by finding her a new place to live, providing clothes for her and her children as well as food, transportation and emotional support. Sara was hired by DHS as a parent partner. Sara would come into RISE at least three times a week for support, conversation and to help the other participants. Sara’s confidence level improved dramatically while a participant in RISE. She became such a help and support for others.
Sara recently moved to Des Moines to be closer to her family. She has a place to live and has done all the prerequisites for her children’s schooling. We will miss Sara but we are proud of her for having the courage to take this next step