“I owe my life to Shepherds” – Corinne

Jan 6, 2017 by

Meet Corinne, a resident at Shepherds of Good Hope’s Managed Alcohol Program permanent residence facility, The Oaks.

When Corinne arrived at Shepherds of Good Hope she had lost her home, her job, her boyfriend and her family. She didn’t know it at the time but the day she arrived at Shepherds of Good Hope was also the day she started on the road to recovery.

If you haven’t already seen it, watch the short two-minute video below to hear Corinne tell you her story, in her own words.

Corinne was 33 when she began drinking. She described herself as a functional alcoholic. Although she drank every day, she held down a job at a downtown hotel. She hid her drinking from her employer and her boyfriend. Eventually her drinking worsened to the point that Corinne entered a rehab program. Unfortunately, she started to drink again soon after she left. When she was drinking, she often called her parents, accusing them of ruining her life. When they refused to answer the phone, she started “drunk-dialing” her friends and her brothers. They too had no choice but to cut Corinne out of their lives.

Ultimately Corinne lost her job. She became isolated in her small community south of Ottawa. There was no bus service to get to downtown Ottawa and few things for her to do in this small community. She was drinking every day and it was no longer a secret to anyone. Finally, in desperation, her boyfriend packed up her clothing, kicked her out of their home and brought her to Shepherds of Good Hope. Corinne was lost. “I had never had any experience with homelessness or living on the street,” she said.

Scared and angry, Corinne didn’t know who to turn to. For several months she lived in the Women’s Special Care Unit (WSCU) at Shepherds of Good Hope. WSCU is a place for 16 women, who live with complex mental and physical health issues, to stay until they are ready to move to a supportive living environment. Corinne worked with medical professionals there, who diagnosed her with bipolar disorder. They adjusted her medication and helped her to stabilize her mental health. Once stabilized, she joined our internationally-renowned Managed Alcohol Program. As her health improved, Corinne was offered a chance to move to The Oaks, a supportive living facility operated by Shepherds of Good Hope. She was one of our first residents. Six years later, Corinne has been transformed, thanks to the dedicated staff and her own hard work.

A couple of years ago, Corinne decided it was time to reconnect with her parents. She was extremely nervous. She didn’t know if she could undo the years of damage caused by the anger and verbal abuse she had directed at them. Would they forgive her?

When Corinne saw her elderly parents that Christmas at The Oaks, she started to cry. They forgave her. Now she talks with her mother and father weekly. Today, Corinne starts her day off with a coffee and can often be seen carrying a water bottle. She’s chatty and upbeat. Occasionally she will spend an evening with friends. She has no desire to return to her binge-drinking days. When asked what life is like today, Corinne pauses and collects her thoughts: “In all of my 51 years, this is the happiest I have ever been.”

Want to help people like Corinne? By making a donation today, you will be helping Corinne remain on that road to recovery and ensuring that men and women like her can get the support and care they deserve at Shepherds of Good Hope.


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