Audra’s two little girls are smiling and swinging their feet off their chairs. Sitting in the Catholic Charities Flagstaff office, they just got handed ice cream bars from one of the staff.
Hope After Addiction
Just turning 31, Audra is facing her thirties with a lot of hope. Coming out of jail only six months ago, she’s discovered life without addiction is like waking up to a new world.
“I just got promoted to a manager position at work,” says Audra, wiping ice cream from her daughter’s face. “I’m back with my kids’ dad, and we’re doing really well.”
It’s been a rough road to get to this point. Audra started with an addiction to meth, then getting arrested for missing court dates and not paying speeding tickets—she ended up with a jail sentence.
When she got released from jail in November, she needed time to figure out what her next steps were going to be. At that time, her relationship with her children’s father wasn’t great.
“I knew I could go home, but I decided to go into the Juniper House, so I could start rebuilding my relationships slowly,” says Audra.
Many of the women who come to Catholic Charities Juniper House, a reentry house and program for women exiting prison, struggle with addiction. Juniper House gives women a sense of community, stability, time and a safe place to continue recovery while making plans to rebuild their lives.
As the Juniper House isn’t a half-way house, the women living there can come and go as they please but are forbidden to use alcohol or drugs, have visitors and need to pay $325 in rent each month.
“In half-way houses, you have to go to meetings, counselors and it’s an ongoing schedule,” says Audra. “It’s good, but then if you already have stuff scheduled for probation and you want to work, it makes it difficult.”
Stability for a Fresh Start
Audra got a job, attended her required counseling, renewed her relationships with her children and their dad. Then after a month, she moved back in with her family. They’ve been doing great.
Audra says the importance of the Juniper House in her journey is that it provided stability at a vulnerable time in her life—and that extra support made all the difference in building a solid foundation for her new life to be built on.
You can be a part of helping women like Audra by supporting Catholic Charities and the work of our housing programs. Your one-time or monthly gift will help women leaving jail to find a safe place to live while they rebuild their life.