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A Safe Haven and a Second Chance

The rooms at Miriam House were not unfamiliar to Ashley, a current resident. Ashley lived at Miriam House once before when hard times had hit the single mother of three in 2006. It was a minor bump in the road, and Miriam House was a place to regain stability.

“I graduated from the housing program a year later, and I moved into an apartment here in Norwalk. I lived there for seven years.”

Things were going well for Ashley and her family, but then her life started to spin out of control, fast.

“I got involved with the wrong people. Drugs and alcohol. My life was a very fast downward spiral. I was in and out of jail. It got to the point where Children Services had to step in, and my kids were taken away. I really had to look at life from another point of view.”[singlepic id=614  w=320 h=240 float=right]

After being evicted from her home and having no other place to go, Ashley turned to Miriam House again for guidance in December 2013. But the transition was not easy.

“It was rough. It was really hard to hold still. There was a big change from doing whatever I wanted to do, to doing what the staff and others wanted me to do.”

With help and praise from Miriam House staff, Ashley was able to focus on activities that would get her life on the right path.

“The staff got me involved with volunteering, counseling, classes and things to do throughout the day. I was busy doing positive things.”

After months of hard work and sobriety, Ashley is back on top and in control. She now spends some of her time writing poetry about her experiences, interviewing for jobs and enjoying visits with her children.

“They love it at Miriam House. There are a lot of things to do as a family: board games, movies. My daughters love to help cook and help out around the house.”

Ashley is now attending church regularly. She credits the power of faith and prayer as guiding lights out of a dark time.

“Miriam House was the answer to my prayers. Escaping out of that world led me here. I believe that everything happens for a reason. God guides you down the path that you need to go down. Since I’ve been here, I’ve really tried hard to listen to what he wants me to do.”

“While living here, they support you and motivate you to move in the right direction. If anything happens, they are there to lift you up and guide you to where you need to be.”

Ashley works with her case mangers daily to stay sober and to find stable employment and housing for her and her children.

“It’s like your own personal safe haven. You don’t have to worry about any personal problem or have any doubts in your mind that you are safe.”

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Catholic Charities makes real the love God has for each individual regardless of faith or background, by serving the poor, speaking for and assisting the neglected and forgotten, respecting and promoting life from beginning to end, and nurturing and supporting individuals and families.

Catholic Charities Northwest Ohio