Addiction. How is there so much power behind one word? How can one word control someone’s life to the point where it takes years to overcome this one word? The road to recovery is never easy. There are often many obstacles standing in the way between addiction and recovery, including homelessness.
When COVID-19 hit and businesses began closing in March of 2020, Princess found herself homeless, sleeping in the bushes outside of a hospital in Siloam Springs following a night of sickness after a shot of dope. Princess had nowhere to go and didn’t know what steps to take.
This launched Princess into a spiral of not knowing where she would be night after night. Facing drug abuse, alcohol abuse, poor living conditions, and even life-threatening situations, she stayed with six different people in just three months before finally finding herself at The Salvation Army of Fayetteville in June.
Even while at The Salvation Army, Princess still found herself struggling with her drug addiction. She would get high, leave for a while, then come back to sleep it off.
“I been in and out of [The Salvation Army] probably six times in just a year… I would get high or something and feel bad and felt like I was being disrespectful. I had to look at it like that,” said Princess.
Traci, Princess’ case worker, worked tireless hours getting Princess on a list to get a voucher from the Housing Authority, as well as putting her on the Hark list.
Princess had multiple applications and lists for housing and felt overwhelmed reviewing them and making a decision. When she finally got approved to move in to one of the many she applied for, she was shocked.
“I didn’t show a lot of excitement because I was trying to take it in. Anything good that happens to me, it’s hard for me to accept it right away because I’m so used to getting nice things and losing them so fast. It’s scary to get new things anymore because I don’t like the feeling of the loss,” said Princess.
The challenge facing addiction is still present in Princess’ day-to-day life. It’s never an easy battle and some days will be harder than others. Princess hopes that by having a place of her own, she will be able to remove herself from harmful situations.
For anybody facing addiction, Princess has found that you can’t always be the anchor for some else’s ship, and you must remove yourself from the source of the problem.
“Put yourself first. It’s the right time to be selfish. And social distancing is not only for COVID,” said Princess. “Thanks to everybody at The Salvation Army, you guys are helping me change my life. It’s a struggle, but it’s happening. You guys gave me chance after chance, and you didn’t make me stay out there and suffer.”
If you or anybody you know is facing addiction or homelessness, please call The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas at (479) 521-2151.