The Hilljack House has forever changed my life. I came to St. Louis straight from prison. I was in both of the halfway houses for women here. I knew I wasn't ready to be on my own. I hadn't even worked a recovery program before. I had been to meetings, but had not done any of the suggested things, mostly because I wasn't ready to. I was required to get a sponsor within 2 weeks of moving in. I did so and my life has changed so much through working the steps. I've rebuilt relationships with my family, including my children, which I thought were broken forever. I thank God, my program, and the Hilljack House for all these things.
Before coming here I was content, or so I thought, to be without friends. The women here didn't let that fly. They got me out of my "comfort zone" of being a loner. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer for the third time, there wasn’t a single lady who let me be isolated. Today I can say that I am a good friend, daughter, sister, and mother. Before coming here, I don't think I knew how to be any of those things, nor did I really want to. Now I know I have people in my life who look up to me and call me to talk about their own problems because I was able to share my own story. Two and a half years ago there wasn't anyone who looked up to me for anything, but now I'm a responsible and productive member of society.
Thanks to the Hilljack House, I was released from probation 2 years early and have had a job ever since. Even when changing jobs, I provide my employers with a 2 week notice, something I had never done before. I pay my child support every week, and as a result, I'm in the process of getting my driver’s license back. I haven't had one since 2012 because I wouldn't work to pay for it. I honestly probably wouldn't even have been concerned about the license if I hadn’t been encouraged to look into it. The Hilljack House has given me the drive to do the things I've needed to do so that I can be the best me possible. I'm beyond grateful for all they have done for me.
A little over a year ago, I was homeless, no car, no job and I had no contact with my children or my family. All I could see in my foreseeable future was death. I was in the grips of my active addiction. Hopeless, desperate, and broken I found my way to the Hilljack House. I'm not sure why God guided me to this particular recovery house but today I'm so grateful he did. When I got here I didn't necessarily want to die, but I didn't want to go on living as I was. Willing to do anything it took to stay clean I moved into the Hilljack House. My world as I knew it changed. At first I was scared and uncomfortable. As time went on I began to feel at home. I embraced every suggestion given to me and started applying those suggestions into my life. The relationships I formed here with other recovering women have been life-changing. Today I have a good job that I go to everyday, a vehicle and a place I love to call home. I have my children and my family back in my life. Today I can say I love myself and actually mean it. The Hilljack House helped transform me from the broken little girl I was when I first walked in to the confident woman I am today.
Thank you Hilljack House for every opportunity you've given me. I will always be grateful.
Hilljack House Alumni
Watkins, Erica: President