On June 5, 2015, I entered Villa Maria from a 15 year crack/cocaine addiction. I stayed focus to clean up the wreckage of my past.
After 3 weeks, I was blessed with employment at the Arid Club for alcohol anonymous, where I planted a seed and began to build a solid foundation in my early recovery and sealed with a God of my understanding. It wasn’t easy cause life throws many curve balls.
During the 18 months at Villa Maria, I was able to save money for an apartment and go see my daughter in Mississippi whom I hadn’t seen in 2 years. Villa Maria gave me an opportunity to align my mental, emotional, spiritual as well as physical. Not only was Villa Maria a safe place, but it also gave us a chance to express ourselves through cooking among many other things.
During the holidays we all got a chance to showcase our favorite meals and fellowship together as a group, giving us a sense of family togetherness.
If I ever had any questions or concerns I knew there was around the clock staff available at my leisure for anyone who may be in need of assistance.
Villa Maria has definitely been a life changing experience for me.
My name is Veronica Talavera, and I was blessed to move to Villa Maria in December 23, 2016. I had lost my home of 16 years due to a foreclosure following a series of events that included a physical disability that incapacitated me from working for 3 years.
I first came to Villa Maria during the holiday season of 2016, two days before Christmas. To everyone that knew me, this could have been considered a difficult situation, but right from the beginning it turned out to be a blessing. My first dinner as a community with all the women in the shelter was such a wonderful experience. I felt welcomed, safe, and blessed.
For the next several months, I got to experience life in a community of women like me, who even though struggled, showed great courage. All of these women inspired me and motivated me. Their support, friendship and day-to- day interaction helped me flourish and I became more confident, self sufficient and outgoing. I was also given all the resources to be able to move forward very quickly. Sister Mary Margaret’s experience and guidance was essential for me. I was also supported with medical assistance, emotional support, transportation and guidance.
One of the best things that happened to me though this process was my complete physical restoration after receiving therapy from one of our volunteer sisters. Pretty soon, I was hired as a tutor and was able to contribute to my savings account. After the tutoring contract finished in May 2017, I was able to get hired for summer program at the YMCA. Again, this blessing came through the collaboration of one of my friends from the shelter and sister Mary Margaret assistance.
Thanks to all this support, I was able to move forward, and rented an apartment that I share with my youngest daughter. I am currently anticipating a job offer to go back to work full-time for the upcoming school year. The future looks bright. If I could list all the blessings and wonderful experiences I lived during my stay at Villa Maria, I would have to fill a whole book with them. The friendships that I developed here are invaluable. It is an experience that I will always value, be grateful for, and that I will carry in my heart for the rest of my life.