Three years ago Jeni’s life was in chaos. She had struggled with drug abuse for years. Then she found herself pregnant and needed a safe and structured living environment for herself and her baby-to-be. She entered an inpatient substance abuse clinic and also enrolled in Southwest Human Development’s Healthy Families program.
The support she received on a regular basis from her Healthy Families home visitor gave Jeni confidence and independence, helped her learn to make better decisions, and provided valuable child development information to this new mother. Jeni has distanced herself from her old lifestyle and former friends to keep herself drug-free. She has also had to break ties with some family members due to the unhealthy nature of their relationships.
Now Jeni’s primary focus is her two-year-old son, Cody. She says that she's learned to make positive choices for his welfare. Recently, she became uncomfortable with the child care center Cody was attending. Using information and resources provided by her home visitor, she researched other options and ultimately found him a new environment she felt was more conducive to his development. This was a huge accomplishment for Jeni, as she had spent many years feeling like she was not in control of her life.
Today, 25-year-old Jeni has been sober for over three years, has a job, is attending community college, and is engaged to be married. She is a few semesters away from transferring to ASU, where she would like to pursue a degree in criminal justice. She plans to use it to help support women like herself who are transitioning into stronger, healthier new lives.
Photos by Linda Enger