For Sound clients Shawn Babineau and Tai Powell, every day brings blessings, and an opportunity to prove that recovery works and second chances are possible. But just few years ago, things didn’t look so good for the couple, who have a young daughter.
Both struggled with addiction and Shawn’s struggles lead to her losing her career, her home and even her children (from an earlier relationship) to Child Protective Services. Though Shawn went through treatment, things got worse before they got better.
When they met, both still struggled with substance abuse. Tai’s previously untreated mental health issues and the couple’s addictions ultimately lead to disaster. Time spent in the corrections system and on the street pushed the couple to their limit. When Tai finally had a major mental health episode, they were plunged into total financial collapse (he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder). The family lived in a tent for more than six months, while their young daughter went into temporary foster care.
Though they had been receiving support and counseling with Sound. Sound’s “Project Homestead,” a robust wraparound program that addresses the root causes of homelessness, was their lifeline. The Sound program provides immediate and long term shelter to help clients get stable and in transition.
The program, Shawn says “was the catalyst to connect us with the resources we needed.”
Tai credits the program with helping them to get on firm footing — and gradually build toward a life of recovery.
“That was really the turning point, providing us with the chance to get employment and start to stabilize,” he says. “Sound is why we’ve been able to sustain the stability we’ve had for the past three years.”
In recovery with ongoing help from Sound’s therapeutic programs, the couple found additional community support. Beyond the supportive nature of these services, which both feel were vital, Tai even found a new career inspiration as a volunteer coordinator and family support program lead. Shawn completed her AA degree and now works for a community health center.
Shawn and Tai know that second chances are possible, and hope that others in the community come to believe that, too.
“A lot of people don’t believe that people can change,” says Shawn. “But I do believe that people can change with help and support from the community and family.”