Avalon House opened on January 4, 2008. One of our first residents was a single pregnant young woman, Jessica W. Jessica remains a resident of Avalon House today, but now she is accompanied by her newborn baby girl, Kendra and her twenty month old daughter, Kylie.
Jessica’s history is not too uncommon in the drug and homeless community. Her problems with substance abuse began while she was a freshman in high school. Her family moved to a new school district and Jessica missed her old friends and felt out of place in her new high school. The group she reached out to were the kids that smoked marijuana and drank alcohol. Her substance abuse continued until she dropped out of high school half way during her junior year. Her family life was a bit chaotic and they did not notice how far Jessica was into drugs.
Jessica left home at 18 and moved in with her 28 year old boyfriend. He introduced Jessica to his criminal life style. She began selling drugs and worked with him in an I.D. theft ring. Her boyfriend abused her and eventually she left him. Before she was 21 she accumulated seven felony charges, three charges of being in possession of a controlled substance and four charges of identity theft.
Jessica’s charges lead her to Clackamas County Adult Drug Court. She was accepted into the drug treatment program but continued to live in drug houses because she had no other place to live. Not only were drugs being used in those houses, but drugs were being manufactured, which made her commitment to recovery very difficult. She struggled in recovery as well as her issues around self-esteem. Jessica felt worthless unless she had the love and acceptance of a man, and she was not aware of her personal value and internal strength.
Drug court placed Jessica into a work release program because she was unable to maintain housing in several Oxford Houses. Jessica was able to live at work release while she worked and attended drug treatment but she still needed permanent housing. Her felonies and lack of resources made it impossible for her to obtain traditional housing. Clackamas County treatment court referred Jessica to Avalon House while the house was being completed and she was accepted.
Jessica credits much of her success in her recovery to having a safe clean place to live. She shares the house with five other women and their children. It is a clean and sober housing community. There is an on-site case manager who provides recovery and life skills support. All residents are involved Clackamas County treatment courts and they support each other in their recovery.
During the past two years, Jessica gave birth to two healthy and beautiful daughters, free of drugs and alcohol. She began to believe in herself and found that she is a very capable woman and able to live without the validation of a man in her life. She has completed one year of college and is planning to become a drug and alcohol counselor. At 23, Jessica continues to rebuild her life and is giving her daughters the gift of a sober, loving and responsible mother.
She may live in Avalon House as long as she desires, as it is a permanent housing program. One day Jessica will have the education and skills to provide her family a promising future. While at Avalon House she has developed a good rental history and when she is ready she will be able to move into independent housing. None of this would have been possible without all the support she received in her treatment program and the stability she experienced at Avalon House.