“Every day, I’m helping women just like me. As the Intake Specialist, I’m like the front door. And I can relate to people because I’ve been there.”
Louisville, Kentucky - November, 2020
My name is Christina Compton and I’m more than an employee of Freedom House, I’m also a graduate. Freedom House is a substance use disorder treatment facility that helps pregnant women and women with children. Freedom House is operated by Volunteers of America.
Freedom House changed my life. It gives me such joy to be able to give the gift that was given to me. They believed in me when I didn’t even know if I could believe in myself. I learned about Freedom House from a social worker when I was in jail. I had a history of drug and alcohol abuse and had been incarcerated for six months but was facing additional time. I was also pregnant and nearing my due date.
I thought there was no future for me or my child. If you had told me I would be here today I would have told you had fallen off your rocker and bumped your head. However, I was given a chance to leave prison if I agreed to treatment. So I took the offer.
Less than a week after arriving, I gave birth to my second son and my life began changing. When I walked into Freedom House and saw all of the art, I knew it was different. I literally only had the clothes on my back but my son and I never wanted for anything. I had to do was concentrate on my recovery. While it was welcoming, it was hard work. My therapist met me right where I was. She would challenge me. Sometimes I would think this is stupid. I was up all night with a baby, why do I need to be in meditation at 8 a.m.? Now, I know that it was teaching me how to live—how to plan my time, utilize public transportation and make something better than ramen noodles in the microwave to feed my family. It's like Freedom House had a checklist of everything women need to stay sober. They gave me exactly what I needed.
After going back to school to get my Peer Support Specialist Certificate, I went to a VOA job fair and asked them to take a chance on me again. I wanted to give back. I’m able to help other women who are trying to overcome addiction and hold their hand through their journey and share my lifetime of experience.
The best part of my day is when I pick up my son, a happy and health two-year old, and he throws his arms wide and yells “mom.” He’s so happy to see me.
Every day, I’m helping women just like me. As the Intake Specialist, I’m like the front door. And I can relate to people because I’ve been there. I can say to people – “what do you have to lose, except pain?” I’m so honored to be a part of Volunteers of America. I get to plant the seed for recovery. Whether I get to see that seed become a tree or not—I know it’s growing.