When Brianna was 8 years old, she found her stepfather dead. Her childhood hadn’t been easy before that. Her parents struggled with addiction, and Brianna and her siblings spent time in foster care.
But her stepfather’s death was a trauma Brianna couldn’t get past. As she got older, she tried using drugs to push it to the back of her mind. She stopped going to school regularly, and she experienced homelessness.
“My mom had other boyfriends who didn’t like me very much, and they kicked me out of our house,” she explains.
Even though she was barely going to school, Brianna earned her GED during her junior year. After that, her drug use intensified, and she became homeless again. Life on the streets was dangerous for a teenage girl.
“I was assaulted a couple of times,” she says, “so I would try to find somewhere kinda secluded so people wouldn’t mess with me.”
Brianna’s life started to change when she got pregnant and had a son. She found an apartment and stopped using drugs for a time, but shortly after his birth, she relapsed. Her son started spending more and more time with his father’s parents. Then, Brianna got pregnant again.
“I got very depressed. My son was only 5 months old. I realized I had to grow up and stop using and put my children first,” she said.
She came to the Christian Aid Center before she gave birth to her second child, a daughter who she named Aurora. Since then, she has focused on staying sober and learning life skills like parenting, budgeting and housework. She’s also planning to go back to school to study culinary arts.
Perhaps most importantly, the CAC is showing Briana her self-worth and helping her know that God loves her. “It was hard at first to hear people say nice things about me, because I’m not really used to that. I’m still working on it, but it has really helped me in my recovery.”
Brianna has hope now thanks to the CAC and our many faithful supporters. “When I arrived, I was broken. Now, I am healing. The CAC really helped me.”