When Lisa was five months pregnant, she was living at an addiction recovery facility, which she would have to leave once her child was born. Her family had disowned her, she’d recently left a dysfunctional relationship with the baby’s father and she'd lost her job. Despite the uncertainty of her circumstances, Lisa was trying to remain sober after nearly 10 years of drug and alcohol misuse. She came to CUPS desperate for help. “I was a mess," she says.
Finding a support network
CUPS found subsidized housing for Lisa through a partner agency. At CUPS Family Development Centre, Lisa signed up for the 16-week Nurturing Parenting Program. When she found out about the voluntary drug testing program for pre-natal women at the CUPS Family Health Clinic, she moved her medical care to CUPS.
Lisa secured housing two months before her baby was due. She managed to reconnect with her family, while avoiding people who didn’t support her sobriety. She delivered a healthy baby, but before she and her parents could take the baby home, Child and Family Services came to intervene.
Addressing past trauma
The intervention turned out to be connected to the baby’s father’s suspected criminal activity. After three hours of interviews with Lisa and her parents, Child and Family Services learned that Lisa had maintained sobriety and registered in parenting programs at CUPS.
Lisa agreed to go to counselling to help her process past trauma: she was sexually assaulted as a young teenager and had been involved in abusive relationships. She also agreed to join a relapse prevention group, and she agreed that she and her baby would live with her parents for six months.
Resilience for the future
The six months passed without incident and Lisa and her baby were allowed to move into their own apartment. Lisa finished with her relapse group and joined a trauma group. She graduated from CUPS Nurturing Parenting Program, which helped her in her new role as a mother.
Through CUPS, Lisa applied for the Lorraine Melchior Bursary Fund, which assisted with child care costs and groceries while she attended school. Now, she’s enrolled in a competitive university program and has remained sober and stably housed. She's proud of how far she's come. "I didn't know where to go or what to do. CUPS worked a miracle for me," Lisa says.