Sonja proves there is no expiration date on hope

Meet Sonja: a grandmother who found the strength to confront her own past to make a better tomorrow for her granddaughter.

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Sonja came to the Bay Area to help her daughter and newborn granddaughter, but became homeless when her daughter moved in with an abusive boyfriend. With few resources and little hope, she turned to drugs after years of sobriety.

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Even though Sonja herself was struggling, she knew that her granddaughter was suffering more, and she didn’t want to watch another generation become lost in a world of drugs and violence. With a renewed sense of purpose, Sonja petitioned for custody and applied for housing at APC in 2008, and moved into the community in 2009.

The stability of a home made an immediate impact in the lives of Sonja and her granddaughter, but coming together as a family was an uphill battle. Sonja had not planned to raise another child, and in that first year, she struggled to maintain her sobriety.

“You have to allow them to help you. Not baby you, but help you. Let them help you find your self worth. I was just so tired of messing up.”

Sonja saw APC as her last chance to find lasting stability, but it took time to establish enough trust to open up to staff. Motivated by the well being of her granddaughter, however, she eventually accepted help and began working intensively with an on-site drug and alcohol counselor, case manager and even started seeing a family therapist.

Everything started to change for Sonja. She learned to tap strengths she never knew she had, and has been pleasantly surprised by her ability to manage a household budget. Cable, she decided had to go, but bus trips with her granddaughter to local attractions made the cut. Most importantly, she has loved watching her granddaughter grow into a smart, confident little girl who is quick to laugh and makes friends easily.

Sonja has been sober since 2011 and the stability in her life has allowed her to begin to repair relationships with her adult children and extended family. “I’ve learned my lesson late,” Sonja said. “But I learned it.”

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