As I reflect on the stories of healing and triumph that we witnessed among the women we serve at N Street Village this past year, to me the most memorable moments have been from our addiction recovery programs. For instance, through our partnership with The Theatre Lab this past April, 15 members of our recovery programs wrote and performed an autobiographical show for a sold-out audience at The Kennedy Center. After the performance I spoke with Pertrina, who said “Oftentimes my generation was told to hush. This experience has given me the opportunity to share my story and maybe even help someone else.”
Thanks to your support, so many women like Petrina come to N Street Village each year – to overcome their addictions and reclaim their voices. In 2012, 97 percent of women living in our Recovery Housing program maintained their sobriety during their average six-month stay with us.
And yet —there are still so many women who don’t find the help they need…
On Sunday, November 24, 2012, I read in The Washington Post about Misty Clanton, a woman struggling with addiction who died alone on the street. Misty longed for recovery but couldn’t seem to find the right supports or resources to help her achieve her goals.
Here at N Street Village we provide housing and services for many women like Misty and we know that their stories are often more complicated than they appear. Histories of trauma and abuse often predispose a woman to addiction and hinder her ability to access help. The lack of basic resources such as safe housing, medical care or adequate income, may limit her ability to focus on her recovery.
Our programs are designed with these complex and interconnected needs in mind – with the intent to serve the WHOLE person and to do so in a community that values hospitality and connectedness above all else.
I was most struck by the moment in the article where Misty states in a letter to someone who tried to help her: “when I get [through this] I will show you who I really am.” We see women every day who have that same urgent and earnest longing to realize their potential. Without N Street Village there would be many more women like Misty in search of something they cannot find.
This holiday season and every day of the year, we look to you to ensure that we are here for every “Misty” in our area. And when they arrive, we want them to find our doors open, our hallways full of welcome and warmth, and our programs and staff ready to help them show us – and themselves – who they really are.
May we take this season to remember and celebrate what we have accomplished together in 2012 and to gather strength and courage for the journey ahead in the upcoming New Year.
P.S. By making a tax-deductible gift today, you will ensure that every woman who walks through our doors in 2013 is offered care and compassion.