Karen Ennis

I wanted something better for my baby.

Karen recreationally used drugs for years. During that time, she maintained a job, paid bills, and lived in her own home. Karen often considered entering treatment for her addiction issues, but treatment programs generally occur during the day, and Karen didn’t want to lose her 9 to 5 job.

When her mother became terminally ill, Karen spiraled down in her addiction. Karen started to use crack cocaine and quickly lost her job and her home. At the point that she was homeless and entirely ravaged by her addiction, Karen was pregnant and desperate to find a way out of her addiction. “I wanted something better for my baby.”

Karen entered into a detox program in an attempt to rid her body and mind of crack cocaine. At the conclusion of detox, Karen asked to be referred to a treatment program so that she could actually heal from the disease of addiction. Since Karen was pregnant, she needed a comprehensive family treatment program. But, because of the lack of treatment available for families, Karen could not immediately enter into treatment and she remained in detox. An opening in a 4 month residential family treatment program was finally made available to Karen weeks after her request for treatment.

After residential treatment, Karen entered into an 18 month outpatient treatment program for families. “I needed more time than the four months in residential treatment. Doing the 18 month program gave me the structure and time to get strong in my recovery.”

Karen received further support services and she learned how to be a better mother to her children. Her two children received therapy services as Karen learned to heal herself.

During her time in treatment, Karen received Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) support, which was critical to her ability to focus on treatment while still being able to pay her bills and rent. TANF also helped Karen establish savings to eventually move out of a transitional shelter and into her own home.

In order to achieve economic self-sufficiency for her family, Karen enrolled in a job training program. She is now seeking employment in the area of interior design. She intends to give her children a life of love and wholeness. “I don’t want them to look for love where I did.”

Karen now celebrates two years and seven months of living clean and sober.