Christina’s Story: Barely Surviving to Thriving
Full of smiles today, but that wasn’t always the case for Christina. Growing up in an abusive home and surrounded by the presence of drugs, she learned no other way, and at 12 years of age started down her own path of substance abuse. Along with that came unhealthy relationships, domestic violence, probation, and years spent in and out of recovery programs.
And then, in a fortunate turn of events and much to her surprise, in September of 2014 she was accepted into Amethyst Place. A United Way of Greater Kansas City partner agency, Amethyst Place has been restoring lives for over two decades through transformational healing by empowering women and children to achieve recovery, reunification, and resilience. Through their 37 apartments and on-site programs, families receive safe housing and basic needs; educational and vocational supports; recovery, wellness, and financial coaching; and therapy and care management for as long as they need to help the whole family heal and thrive.
And healing and thriving is exactly what happened for Christina, “Amethyst changed my life. I remember the first day I walked into my new apartment…they opened the door and I just started bawling", Christina says. "The minute I walked in, I felt like I was finally safe and at home. Even as a child, my home experience never felt safe or like home.” It was the first time in her 24 years of life that she had a safe place to rest, to dream about a different kind of future–one full of hope and joy.
It was there that she was truly able to focus on recovery and create a stable home for her two children (who were 6 and 3 years old when she started in the Amethyst Place program). “At first it was a lot. It’s overwhelming and exciting and joyful and scary all at the same time,” Christina says. “But I did feel hope for the future. Amethyst Place is literally a place for you to build your life from nothing to everything. It’s an amazing starting point for any woman.”
After living at Amethyst Place for four years, and staying dedicated to the program, which addresses the interconnected cycles of poverty, trauma, and substance use, she and her children moved off campus and have been in their own home for the last three years. But this amazing story of transformation doesn’t stop there. Christina was recently hired by Amethyst Place as their Career Empowerment Coach where she helps women in the program with things such as getting their GED, financial aid, finding a job, and enrolling in continuing education. She is also currently in a masters program and will graduate with a Masters in Social Work in May of 2022.
"We have built a family here," she says. Christina credits the holistic approach of Amethyst Place and the power of community for helping her get to this point on her recovery journey. When asked what she is most proud of, she stated being a good parent to her children, being in recovery, and getting her masters degree. All things that might not have been possible without the help of Amethyst Place and funding from United Way.
Thank you to all who give to UWGKC! You are impacting lives like Christina’s and helping create positive change in our community and beyond for generations to come. Learn more about Amethyst Place and the life-changing, comprehensive, family-centered work they are doing for women and children in the Kansas City area.