This month it is my pleasure to share this space with a very special resident, Deserae Brown. She arrived at Frederick Place at the end of June. If things go as I think they will, she will be living in her own home with her kids at the time NATH Notes is sent out. She has had some setbacks that would make most give up. Not Deserae. Sure, she may wallow in self-pity for a day, but she picks herself up and does what she needs to for her future with her kids. I do believe Deserae has saved more money than any resident in our 10 year history. She had to in order to get a place to call home. With that in mind, she has been unstoppable. Focused. She had a goal and nobody was going to stop her.
I am old enough to be Deserae’s mom, but we have formed a bond that is not a mother/daughter one, but a friendship between peers. She is mature beyond her years. One might call her an “old soul,” because she had to grow up at a very young age.
It has been an honor to be part of Deserae’s Frederick Place journey. She has left footprints on my heart and I will never be the same.
Guest Writer: Deserae Brown
I am starting to realize my true potential as a mother and a woman, although my story didn’t start at Frederick Place.
I lost grip of my reality when I stopped relying on my ambitions and focused more on alcohol and having fun. At that time, I had a friend I hold very dear to me. She was going through a hard time with two small children so I decided to help. She caused a lot of problems for my landlord, and I was then evicted in March of 2020. I stayed with a friend for a few weeks. One day, early in the morning, my son decided he wanted to go on a walk. A police officer picked him up. I was almost three months pregnant on that cold March day. I ended up being arrested for child neglect, lost the fetus and both of my children.
I had to leave my friend’s and with having nowhere to go I had to call my mother. She traveled all the way from Kentucky to pick me up. I thought my mother had my best interests at heart but I was wrong. She was still the same toxic/abusive person she has always been. I saved as much money as I could and took a Greyhound Bus back to Wisconsin. Still homeless, I came across Frederick Place. I have been residing at what I call home since June 30, 2020.
During my stay, what has made me the most thankful is the staff at Frederick Place. They truly want the residents to flourish and succeed. Before I came here I truly believed that good hearted people did not exist anymore. They have restored my hope in humanity. Being here I have almost made it to nine months sober, received the mental health care I needed, and finished my parenting class. I needed Frederick Place in order to take care of myself properly. There were so many times I could have given up.
This Thanksgiving I am grateful for many things.
· My children. My greatest and number one priority. They are my main motivation to just get out of bed in the morning.
· My friends and the amazing support team I have gained through my struggles.
· The struggle I have fought to show my worth and prove only to myself that I alone have what it takes to succeed.
· My amazing job and the trust the management has in me.
What I am grateful for most of all is one person I found on this journey. That person is me and I vow to never lose her again.