“I always remember loving school when I was real little. I have two memories of when I was in kindergarten. The happy one was the day in school I was able to tie my shoes all by myself. The sad one was the day I came home and the electricity and heat was shut off. My mom was crying and screaming at me. That happened a lot, I didn’t realize my mom was an alcoholic. My dad left when I was six. When I was 8 my mom died. My dad’s mom took us in.”
When she was 11, a family friend started abusing Janie. She started smoking pot and drinking, and at 15, ran away. Her addictions became worse as she lived on the streets, and Janie was 19 when she was arrested. In jail she found out she was pregnant.
“They sent me to the Center for Great Expectations. I was glad to be in a place that was safe. Being homeless makes it easier to make bad choices. At Great Expectations they helped me get doctor’s appointments to make sure my baby was ok and I had a healthy pregnancy. I learned about having a baby, and being a good mom. I am a woman in recovery, and go to AA and NA meetings. My counselors have helped me deal with my past, and live in today. I learned how important it is to make the right choices for myself, and my daughter. I am going to go back to school so I can get a good job and give Olivia a happy life. I know she will love school, but I will make sure she loves coming home even more.”
At Great Expectations, Janie received trauma-informed care that allowed her to process her past. She obtained her GED and credits her counselors and art therapy that helped her work through her trauma.