Nichole Prince, a single mom from Chesapeake Virginia, entered our program in April 2021. Nichole began using crack cocaine at 17 and quickly progressed to using heroin intravenously by 23. Eventually, Nichole would be charged with possession of scheduled I and II substances and various probation violations.
While in incarceration Nichole came in contact with Friends of Guest House. She arrived at the Friends of Guest House program determined to change her life and become the woman she knew that she could be. Nichole left no stone unturned and took advantage of every workforce class, psychoeducational group, and attended the alumni-facilitated NA meetings; all of this during the height of the pandemic. Nichole started therapy and substance use treatment and began gaining the necessary tools and coping skills to manage her life without drugs and alcohol. By this time, Nichole had secured a job as a receptionist in the office of a reputable podiatrist in Annandale. After securing this job, receiving mental health and substance use treatment, and building her self-esteem, it was time to leave the residential program. Nichole, determined as ever, knew that she wanted to keep building the best version of herself, so she made the decision to enter into the FOGH transitional sober living housing program at Audubon.
Nichole’s resilience and optimistic attitude were shown this past March. As Spring Break 2022 arrived, Nichole wanted to make sure that her children and her niece had a fun-filled mini-vacation. Her 14-year-old daughter Giselle, 11-year-old son Leland, and her niece Chloe were excited to visit the DMV area for the first time. Nichole left on a Saturday to pick up her family, ready to have a blast touring the Washington Metropolitan area. Nichole borrowed her friend’s car for the trip since her truck was in the shop. Earlier, Nichole had opted to make the much-needed repairs to the truck, so that it was ready for the long-distance trips back and forth to Chesapeake to see her kids over the summer. After a day at the zoo and a night out at dinner, Nichole and the kids woke to find that her friend’s car was nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, it turned out, she parked the car at the apartment complex but had forgotten to put the visitor’s pass sticker in the window and the car was towed. More bills and unexpected expenses started to chip away at Nichole’s money and her smile.
An early morning call to her case manager and one ride to the tow yard later, Nichole and the kids were back on their way. Later Nichole shared with her case manager that she had spent her entire tax refund repairing the control arm, replacing the airbag suspension with springs, new shocks and struts, an alignment, a new throttle, an oil change, and new tires. After a total of $3300 spent on repairs, Nichole learned that her truck needed a new transmission. Nichole commented to her case manager, “This is just how my life goes. It’s never easy.” Nichole was reminded by her case manager that anything in life worth having is worth fighting for. After that, Nichole, ever optimistic, humbly replied to the case manager, “I do not mind riding public transportation. It’s where I started. I am grateful for that hour and a half ride to work. It’s my me time.” Now, Nichole and her case manager work together to make sure she gets to her other appointments without having to miss time at work. Nichole has consistently shown her resilient spirit and in the face of setbacks reminds herself that, “There is no giving up.”