Sami’s story is a story of strength and resilience. Her parents were both deaf. They were also addicts. They couldn’t communicate with the dealers so at a young age she became the middle person to help her parents get drugs. At the age of 13, she decided she didn’t want to do that so she left home. She lived on the streets or in a car and was teased at school because she always wore the same clothes. Despite all of these challenges, Sami received her high school diploma.
Sami came to Phoenix House Mid-Atlantic in November and has not fully unpacked because living out of her bag makes her comfortable. She has never really had a bed or even a dresser. She has never experienced a traditional Christmas morning because of her parents’ addiction; her family never got a tree or had gifts for the children. So at the age of 21, Sami has never decorated a Christmas tree…until now.
Demeter House, our program for women in Arlington, Virginia, decorates a Christmas tree each year and it is the first tree that Sami has had in her home for the holidays. Kelly Rankin, program director at Demeter House, said, “Sami has experienced a lot of trauma, but she is pure joy to have here at Christmastime!” Because it is Sami’s first time decorating a Christmas tree, Rankin happily announced, “She will be putting the star on the tree today.”
Every day, Phoenix House Mid‐Atlantic helps hundreds of people, including veterans, who are suffering from addiction in 17 programs in Virginia, Maryland and DC. Find out more about our programs and services, or call us today at: 1 888 671 9392.