Home for a New Start
Trisha arrived at Beth Shalom in July recently released from Lancaster County Prison. Counselors there suggested Beth Shalom believing the program could help support Trisha’s new start in life. Trisha said she was immediately interested. “At the time I was trying to change my life, which I still am, and I was trying to change it in a different direction. Beth Shalom is giving me this chance.”
Drug abuse led to family estrangement and prison time for Trisha, yet this is not how her life has always been. She was with her husband for 15 years and owned her own home up until 3 years ago. Then she slipped into a period of hard core drug use. Drug abuse caused Trisha to be in and out of jail for 14 months. For Trisha the consequences were devastating; “I have raised all four of my children since the day they were born. Now they’ve been out of my life for a year.”
Trisha’s journey back has been difficult. Prison time, rehab for 40 days, followed by a halfway-house for 3 months speaks to her dedication to getting her life turned around. Trisha has set long-term goals working to help her “stay clean and stay connected.” Although Trisha has not been at Beth Shalom very long she is already very complimentary of the program. “It’s a great opportunity. I love it already. I hope I learn a lot from this and get a lot out of it. So far it’s been so good. What I want out of this is a better relationship to God. That is what I’m working harder on.” Trisha is busy working on finding her own church and connecting spiritually. “This is all new to me in the last year. I didn’t grow up regularly going to church. I like Psalms. That’s what I read the most.” The Christian-based aspect of Beth Shalom is what attracted Trisha to the program.
As of August 8th Trisha has been clean for a year. The past months have been challenging, requiring much of her. The Beth Shalom community applauds her progress and looks forward to supporting her journey forward. Life is busy for Trisha now with responsibilities as a resident at Beth Shalom and mandated drug court.
Within a week of Trisha’s arrival at Beth Shalom she was reunited with three of her sons after being separated for over a year. “I am working on getting my kids adjusted into this lifestyle. It isn’t that easy. That’s the biggest struggle.” Trisha is thankful for all the help she has received here, finding Lenara especially supportive in getting her into her apartment at Beth Shalom. “Lenara has been pointing me in a new direction. She talks to me. She has been guiding me on a spiritual path.”
Trisha has many hopes and desires for her children. “I hope for them to be spiritually grounded, for them to finish school, for them to be good members of society. I want a lot for my children.” The advice she plans on giving them is “To stay in school. To follow the rules-that’s what I didn’t do. That’s one thing my parents didn’t teach me.” Most of all she wants to be a positive influence in their lives “to be there for them, to listen to them.”