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HUMANITY OF HOMELESSNESS


Meet Megan.


Megan and her 3 kids were guests at our CCS Micro-Shelter site until just recently. Megan always brought lots of smiles and joy while she was a guest with us.


Her and her kids are now living in a townhouse. And she is now a full-time employee with C@P!


We asked her to share her story. Here are some of the things she shared:


Megan has spent most of her life in and around the Salem area. She began using meth at the age of 15 as a way to cope with a difficult life at home.

”I depended on meth a lot growing up…I didn’t want nothing, but to just keep doing drugs.”


In August of 2019, “something finally clicked and I just decided that I didn’t want to use anymore. I still get cravings…but I’ve gained so much being sober. I just love the respect and perspective I’ve gained being sober. I don’t ever want to lose that.”


Megan’s three children have been an inspiration and motivation for her. “I think if I didn’t have my children, I would probably be dead or in prison. It took a long time to become a better mother for them.”


In the past few years, Megan and her kids struggled to find a safe and affordable place to live, bouncing around from hotels to relatives to friends’ homes. She was able to get on one of the lists for housing in Salem and was told it should just be a few months. In the meantime, she put her name on the waiting lists for all of Salem’s shelters, including C@P.


On the day when she had finally reached the end of her rope, they were living in a home that was not a safe place for her and the kids. “There's broken glass and garbage everywhere, it's like a hoarder's house. And it's like awful. I'm trying to clean, I start crying and I'm like, ‘God, I can't do this anymore.’ And at that very moment, Christopher called from Church At The Park and asked me if I was still looking for shelter.”


Her time on the housing waitlist ended up lasting a lot longer than expected, as is often the case. But that meant that we had a chance to build a deeper relationship with her.

We are so glad that C@P crossed paths with Megan. As is often the case, the ones who find themselves in the “helper” role are often the ones who end up on the receiving end. We were able to help Megan with temporary shelter, case management, a safe, sanitary, and supported place for her and her kids. But we’ve received so much more from being in relationship with them. While she was residing at CCS, she hosted a regular bingo night for the other guests. Since coming on staff, she is still finding creative ways to build relationships with guests and to make their stay with us a positive experience.


She’s mentioned wanting to become C@P’s official “Activities Director,” but lately she’s been thinking about returning to one of her first loves, cooking. “I always wanted to be a cook, but then I've been told all my life that I fuck everything up I. So I haven't really been passionate about things.” But since being sober and building a more stable life for herself and her kids, she is again exploring some of her passions. Her newest idea is to open a non-profit food truck that provides delicious meals for the hungry and provides job training and experience to people.


”I still hear the negative things that I've heard all my life. I still hear about it. Took me a lot to overcome the pain and suffering and stay positive. But I know that when I stay positive, it's contagious, it rubs off on people and it makes people smile, whether it's for the whole day or just for that moment. What if I could just put a smile on people’s face for a moment?”


Megan is an overcomer. We are grateful that she was willing to share a part of her story with us and even more grateful that we get to accompany her on her journey!

 

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