As a young girl, Amanda played sports and was a youth leader at church. Around age 14, she experimented and became addicted to drugs and began to pull away from the life she had known. By 17 years old, she was using meth and heroin. This is her story of hope.
Amanda married at 18 years old and got clean when she became pregnant with her first child. Two years later, she gave birth to a second child. When her husband lost his job, the pressure became too much, and they began using drugs together. Then, the relationship turned violent.
Amanda was accused by her husband and arrested for domestic violence. These charges were dropped, but her children were now under the guardianship of their grandmother. Her husband walked away from the family on their son’s second birthday. Ultimately, she wound up on the streets, addicted and homeless.
During that time, she met Rodney, who was also homeless. Rodney had been addicted to meth and on his own since he was 13 years old due to childhood abuse. They began their relationship by doing drugs together. When Amanda became pregnant, they decided to head to Colorado, where Rodney had some family. They tried to stay clean but slipped from time to time. They were living with Rodney’s mother, and when Amanda was days away from her due date, they got high, and she went into labor.
She gave birth to a beautiful little girl but lost custody due to the drugs in her system. Amanda was numb. Rodney’s brother took custody of the baby until Rodney and Amanda could straighten out their lives.
Distraught, Amanda ended up in jail after a drug binge. Something happened to her during those three weeks in jail. She picked up a Bible and began to read. She felt her faith return and began to believe she could make the changes necessary to get her daughter back and have a good life.
She told Rodney to pick up a Bible and start reading. It was time to get their lives right—and so the journey out of addiction began. They slept at Springs Rescue Mission and came to Marian House for clothing and meals. Catholic Charities Client Services helped them get their Social Security cards and birth certificates, which opened opportunities for employment and housing. Both Amanda and Rodney found jobs, attended church, and began the classes required to try to regain custody of their little girl. The income from the jobs allowed them to secure housing. During this time, they had begun a process of visitation that would give them time with their daughter while they worked to get custody.
The road back has not been easy. They regained custody of Lia, have reached out to begin repairing their relationships with their other children and families, and have secured jobs that allow them to pay their bills and save for the future. For Rodney, the security of supporting his family is what keeps him going and able to resist any temptation to return to his days of doing drugs.
He said, “It’s hard to love others when you cannot even love yourself. If I had known what I know now, maybe it could have been different. Catholic Charities gave me the ability to stand on my own two feet. They were the first stop on our path, and without the help provided, we would still be homeless and without hope.”