The youngest of six siblings, Debbie was raised with strong family values and eagerness to love and protect the people around her. In Debbie’s eyes, hers was “just your typical American family.”
She had nothing but positive memories of her childhood. “Went to a parochial high school and parochial college… Grew up. Had my jobs. Had my life. Had my cars.” For many years, Debbie would visit Buffalo City Mission’s Thrift Store on a regular basis and purchase goods to support the Mission.
“Little did I know in hindsight that I’d be here,” she reflects.
Dealing with Loss
As time passed, Debbie began to experience overwhelming loss. Over a span of 10 years, her best friend, fiancé, and four family members passed away; including her brother, who had lost his battle with cancer. “That was the catalyst that really plummeted my drinking into oblivion,” she explains. “It was kind of like the volcano that was just waiting to erupt.”
In the wake of such extreme loss, Debbie turned to alcohol for comfort. “Started drinking. And one thing happened after another and here I am.”
Building a Hopeful Future
One day, a friend dropped her off at the Buffalo City Mission where she found the help she needed. On that day, she was flooded with fears and insecurities. “I had no idea where I was going or what I was getting myself into,” she shares. “I was in such a personal shock that even to this day I don’t remember much about the first day.”
Since coming to Buffalo City Mission’s Women and Children’s shelter (Cornerstone Manor), Debbie has been grateful for the support, care, and encouragement that she’s received. “They really look for out for everybody here,” she said. “I wouldn’t have known of half the resources that are out there for people.”
Debbie’s’ counselors at Cornerstone Manor have helped her on her journey toward recovery. Moving forward, she plans on regaining her self-sufficiency and is truly thankful for a second chance at a healthy life.