After an eviction in Florida, Alicia left her young child in the care of a friend as she traveled to Atlanta in search of a job and new opportunities. Upon arrival, she met a young man, fell in love and thus had a place to call home; the problem-he did not want her child in his life or hers. Already in Atlanta, the child and Alicia sought shelter and help. Unknowing, Alicia was to become a mother again and her difficulties seemed insurmountable. After the birth of her second child, she took to the streets and would get involved in drug use, prostitution, become a victim of rape and robbery. "There were times I thought that I would not live past 30" stated Alicia. The conditions caught the attention of state agencies and the children were removed from her custody, at this point she was expecting her third child. All children in state custody, Alicia reverted back to the street for consolation; instead she found more trouble which led to her incarceration.
The attitudes we hold toward people with mental illnesses can influence the course of their illness and recovery. The isolation that some individuals living with mental illnesses feel can be reinforced by a judgmental approach in which their behavior is viewed as manipulative or selfish. By stepping beyond personal assumptions and showing care and respect for the people behind the behaviors, we can help them talk about their feelings and support their recovery.
Community Friendship, Inc. has resources and supportive services for men and women living with mental illnesses and their families/caregivers.
Please contact us at 404 875-0381 for assistance..
After leaving prison, she lived in a shelter and was told about the services of CFI. Alicia had been diagnosed with Depression and Bipolar Disorder and left untreated for years her conditioned worsened leading to a series of unsafe and troubling circumstances. CFI provided shelter for Alcia. Currently, she is being re-trained for employment, is taking parenting classes and participating in substance recovery activities as well as taking active steps to be re-united with her children. "The hardest part of my journey has been not being there for my kids and stepping up for them as I should have" stated Alicia. "I am going to be a better mother, a better person and I am thankful to CFI for helping me to get to this point in my life".
While there she heard about Community Friendship, Inc. She was inspired by what she heard. "I felt good when I was working and when I heard that CFI could help people like me get and keep jobs, I wanted to be a part of that" stated Jennifer. Now, Jennifer is attending job readiness classes though CFI's work exploration services and is on track to be placed in employment of her choosing soon. "My dream is to start working again and take care of myself; CFI helped me to get my courage back, and reminded me that I could recover from my illness and I am so thankful for that".