Deanna’s Story


For the last sixteen years, Deanna has either been unstably housed or homeless.  Deanna abused drugs for most of her adult life and explained this is what primarily lead to the first ten years of her instability.  Deanna was in and out of jail, staying in motels, and explained the uncertainty in her life didn’t bother her because she was so deep in her addiction.

Deanna’s last criminal conviction led to a lengthy sentence.  Deanna explained she had a lot of time to contemplate her life and committed herself to making changes.   Deanna sought out mental health treatment and began actively working with a therapist. She completed a chemical dependency program in 2010 and has been sober ever since.  She explained that while she was sober, finding housing was difficult because of her criminal history, poor credit, and having a low income.

Deanna stayed with her adult daughter for five years. Deanna didn’t have a room and wasn’t on the lease. Deanna explained while she was able to help with rent, she always felt like a burden.  When her daughter decided to move, Deanna didn’t have anywhere to go.

Deanna came to Hospitality House with a strong determination to continue down the positive path she was taking. Deanna attended therapy, mental health & sobriety groups, and chemical dependency counseling regularly.  She explained that even though she had been sober for six years, she needed ongoing support because she was breaking a lifetime of addiction. Hospitably House provided Deanna with the support and structure she needed to stay on course.  She had ongoing case management services and onsite counseling.  She participated in workshops and immediately incorporated her new found skills into her daily life.  It is safe to say Deanna’s confidence and self-esteem grew immensely during her stay.

Deanna had applied for a housing voucher in 2010.  Just after she entered our program, she found out she approved. Deanna was anxious about looking for an apartment.  She wasn’t sure the best way to organize her search or how to present herself in a favorable light.  Deanna worked closely with Hospitality House staff and received guidance willingly.  She spent countless hours researching and calling apartments.  Her diligence paid off because for the first time in sixteen years she had the keys to her own apartment and complete independence.