My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Community Action Agency of Butte County Inc, Chico, CA, USA
I became an addict at the age of eleven. I did not know I had a problem until 21 years later, when I was on the streets with my two kids. I tried rehab, but did not fit in. I wanted with all of my heart to stay sober, and to make a new life for my kids. I slept on the floor at my sister's house for a year, and the main thing that kept me sober and hopeful was knowing that we were on the waiting list for the Esplanade house. I knew that any day our number could come up. I knew that when that happened, we needed to be ready (and I needed to be sober).
When our number finally did come up, I had no money, no job (I had been fired from my last several, so I had no good references), a criminal and eviction record, and a ton of fines to pay. There was no way that we could have found housing on our own with all of that working against us. My youngest son was in kindergarten. My husband was fresh out of prison. We had no driver's licenses and no car.
Despite all of this, the Esplanade House let us in. We quickly got to work. Our case manager helped us map out a plan. Within a few months, we had paid enough on our fines to reclaim our driver's licenses. We had saved enough to buy a cheap car. Within 18 months of entering the program, my husband discharged off of parole and became a certified welder, making well above minimum wage. Shortly after that, I graduated from community college. A year from now, I will be graduating from a state university, on my way to becoming an elementary school teacher, and hoping to touch the lives of young kids who may be struggling with some of the issues I had as a child.
Without the support of the Esplanade House, none of this would have been possible. My hope would have faded after a few months of sleeping on my sister's floor. I would surely have given up. I thank God every day for my sobriety, for my new chance at life--a life that is getting better every day. My kids have a bright future now, and so do I because of that.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Have Esplanade House team up with the local Little League and other organizations, to encourage and facilitate sports among the youngsters there. I would make sports and other activities more accessible to the kids providing transportation to and from practices, games and other events. I would also reach out to the community for help with funding for registration fees, uniforms, etc.
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