“I was 23, attending Temple University, and working for a health insurance company,” Serina recalls. “Things were hectic, but I was living life. Then one day I woke up, shut the blinds, closed my door, and didn’t come out for three days.”
Soon after, Serina was diagnosed with manic depression. She couldn’t believe it … wouldn’t believe it. In an act of denial, she stopped taking her prescribed medication and dropped out of school. Things went downhill fast from there. Serina started hanging out with the wrong crowd and was introduced to crack cocaine and heroin, and it didn’t take much before she was hooked.
“Drug addiction took me to complete homelessness, living on the streets,” Serina says. “I was panhandling and doing things I never thought I’d do.”
Over the years, Serina tried several short-term recovery programs without any real success. But a counselor at the last program referred her to Helping Up Mission. “She told me, ‘You know what I think would be perfect for you, Serina? It’s called Helping Up Mission, and I think you’d do great there.’”
Serina took the counselor’s advice and walked into Helping Up Mission this past July. She knew right away there was something different about this place.
“There was a warmth here that I had never experienced,” she says. “I’ve been to a lot of recovery places, but HUM is way different. Everybody is super compassionate and understanding. HUM feels like home to me.”
In the time she’s been here, Serina has discovered her worth in God’s eyes and His unending love for her. “My self-esteem is starting to come back,” she says. “Now I want to take care of myself … take better care of my health.”
While Serina continues doing the hard work to overcome her addiction, she’s also preparing to start classes for certification as a medical coder. Upon graduation from our recovery program, she plans to re-enter the healthcare information field and is deeply grateful for the fresh start you’ve helped make possible.
“Thank you for having faith in someone like me,” she says. “This is the longest I’ve been clean in seven years. You’ve truly given me my life back.”
Your support today will help others like Serina find hope and healing at our new Center for Women & Children. Thank you!