One of the residents of Hope’s Door Shelter recently sent us a letter thanking us for our service and the help she received. Read Cassandra’s story and learn how Hope’s Door helped her get through some of the most difficult times of her life and overcome her addictions.
Hi, my name is Cassandra and I suffer from mental illness. I am also a recovering addict and a recovering alcoholic. But most of all, I am a survivor of domestic violence! I come from the streets, gangs, bikers, sex, drugs, and alcohol. A self-medicating schizophrenic.
I would use drugs to medicate myself and I was too paranoid to seek help. Due to being on the streets and using, I got myself into trouble with the law DUI after DUI. Nobody understood what I was going through and I chose to be alone. I was deep in my illness and I left my family and my children. I didn’t know how to take care of them, let alone myself.
I was married for 12 years and behind closed doors, my husband would beat and rape me. So I chose to leave and to go back to the streets. While back on the streets, I would break the law every way possible trying to find my next high to keep the pain and the voices away. Nobody understood why I did the things that I did. Picking up my third DUI felony charge, I was sentenced to 10 years in the State penitentiary. Afterward, I was given felony probation and eventually was back on the streets.
I met my next offender, who was supposed to be a friend. He had kidnapped me to take me to Detroit from Oregon and I was beaten, choked and raped. This time was different, though- I had a .45 pointed ready to kill me.
After this happened, I surrendered myself to Canyon County for absconding. Knowing I would be safer facing that 10-year prison sentence, I chose Mental Health Court. Through this program, I was given a safe place to stay. This safe place was called Hope’s Door. At Hope’s Door, I met one of the lead staff, Jennifer and she gave me some chocolate. She was a ray of sunshine! Over the course of my time at the shelter, I also met with Kristin who was very kind and sweet. They both have hearts of gold.
Kristin was very thorough and understanding. She knew I was scared and not in my right mind. She was patient with me and I was given the support I needed to stay sober. I attended support, self-esteem, boundaries, and safety planning classes. I was taught skills and given the tools to help me heal and protect myself with a safety plan. The staff at Hope’s Door became my saviors. Cindy was like a mother to me! When I needed a shoulder to cry on or when I was in a crisis, she would coach me through it.
I have lots of love and respect for the staff at Hope’s Door. They spread their wings and helped me take cover. They have been my biggest support and I thank them for having my back and encouraging me to get through the hardest and most dangerous times in life.