Homelessness & Unsafe Situations
Shannon knows what adversity is like. She spent years experiencing homelessness in Lockport with an alcohol use disorder. “It was very depressing,” Shannon said. Desperation and feeling hopeless were common feelings for her. Sadly, she started to feel like things might never get better. “It’s overwhelming,” she said. “You kind of get stuck thinking that’s going to be your life.”
At one point, she thought she found some semblance of stability, but it didn’t last long. She was staying in an unsafe apartment but was unable to pay rent one month. She had nowhere to go, and figured that she may as well try treatment. Thankfully, Save the Michaels helped her admit to a program in Schenectady within three days. “I was very lucky,” Shannon added.
Caz Recovery & the Garden Lofts
After completing an inpatient program, Shannon made her way to Caz Recovery. She started her journey with us at Casa Di Vita, our women’s program on Buffalo’s West Side. After finishing up at Casa Di Vita, she moved into a Supportive Living apartment. She’s now a tenant at Garden Lofts, our new apartment complex in Buffalo that features recently-renovated studios. “The apartments are beautiful,” Shannon said. “It’s really nice having my own space,” she said.
Now that Shannon was been on her journey of recovery for 16 months, she’s able to look back on everything she’s accomplished. “I’m much happier and healthier,” she explained. “I feel like myself again.” She’s focusing on her substance use and mental health diagnoses, and staying on top of her medications has made a huge difference for her. “I’m very proud of myself,” she said. “I never thought I’d be sober.”
Finding Her Motivation & Reconnecting with Family
Now that Shannon has settled into her apartment at the Garden Lofts, she’s already planning to keep making progress on her goals. A major one is finding a job. “I’m getting ready to start looking,” she said. She registered for many online job sites, and she’s even had an interview. Shannon has associates’ degrees in Business Administration from Niagara County Community College and Business Management and Economics from Empire State College. Her plan is to stick with customer service as she has experience in it already.
Shannon finds inspiration in her kids, who are 24 and 18 years old. She kept in contact with her older son throughout her hardships, but only recently reconnected with her younger son. “We just talked for the first time a few weeks ago for an hour and half,” she said. While she’s excited to continue building her relationships with her kids, she knows she’s not done yet. “This is the first time in ten years that I’ve had my own nice, clean place,” she said. “That alone motivates me to keep doing more.”