At the age of 39, Melanie had six children and felt trapped in an addiction-fuelled marriage.

Three of the children were in her care and the other three had left home. She felt like a failure and had no sense of purpose or hope. Her addiction to drugs and alcohol provided solace at the same time it incited shame. In desperation Melanie “needed, sought out, and grasped onto whatever help was out there.” She was one of Karis’ first residents. Her children were placed in temporary foster care while she began the challenging journey of recovery. The caring Karis team walked with her as she participated in programs designed to help her to deal with the ups and downs of recovery and establishing healthy habits. While engaged in the hard work of recovery, Melanie began to believe in the potential her support worker told her she had. Determined to be restored to her children, she participated in parenting classes. Eight years later, Melanie is stronger in both mind and body due to the support she has received over those years. She is 8 years clean and sober, and is a great parent to her healthy happy children. She has created her own part time home based cake decorating business, secured part time employment in the community and has already finished her payments on a pre-owned vehicle that she purchased last year. She is a great support to new women coming into our parenting program and is an advocate in the community for parenting through recovery and a strong supporter of the Karis program.