stories of hope, wellness & recovery

Stories of Hope, Wellness and Recovery

I came into Serenity House 3 years ago after a long struggle with addiction. It took me a couple of tries, I relapsed at one point, but the staff at Serenity House really worked with me to help me be successful. I learned how to have a strong spiritual life, and how to open up and share my pain so that I could heal. Serenity House rescued me from my past and helped me connect to my spiritual healing, which is what really made the difference for me.


After completing 2 years in the program I was able to reunite with my family and help take care of my father. In March 2019 I came back as a graduate resident intern, so that I can have the support I need while I attend cosmetology school at Laney College in Oakland, and intern with Sister to Sister 2, assisting with admin duties and providing translation for Spanish speaking families. I’m doing really well now, and am beginning a new life. My goal after graduating cosmetology school and getting some professional experience is to open my own salon! I also want to give back and help other women who struggle with addiction.

Valentina

My name is Amber Corlin Piver, and I'm 28 years old. Before I came to Sister to Sister 2's Serenity House Program, I was lost. I don't have a lot of family, and growing up I was often on my own, and spent a lot of time on the streets. I got involved with gangs, starting using meth, then got involved in criminal activities and car theft to support my habit. 


It took me a couple of tries - the first time I came into Serenity House was in 2013, to serve a mandatory 6-month sentence. I was in my early 20s then, and was angry and in denial. I didn't want to listen, even though I knew deep down that the staff were trying hard to reach me. After 6 months I left, but I hadn't really worked on myself.


In 2015 I came back to the program and stayed another 6 months. That time I opened up my heart and really listened, and did the work on myself. I learned how to have Integrity - doing the right thing even when nobody is around. I learned how to be a strong woman, I learned how to forgive and let go.

After that I got a job at a deli and reunited with my family. I worked really hard, and after I had been at the deli about a year a regular customer came in, who had noticed how hard I worked all the time, and offered me a job at a pharmacy. I didn't think I could get the job since I was a 5-year felon, and even at the interview I was doubting myself. But a few days later the woman from HR called me and told me she believed in giving people second chances, and offered me the job!   And a few months later they gave me a $3.00 per hour raise!

Now I am totally focused on myself and my baby boy, who is almost 11 months old. I have been clean and sober for 4 and 1/2 years. I have my own apartment and am able to provide well for my son. I want to be responsible and strong for him, to give him a good life and opportunities that I didn't have growing up.

At the pharmacy I am shipping and receiving medications - it's hard work but I am learning a lot about medications, and I'm thinking about becoming a Pharmacy Technician once my son is a little older. Someday I want to be able to buy my own home!

I speak at meetings and events, and share my story to try to help and inspire others as much as I can. When people come to me and say they can't get a good job because they're a 5 year felon, I tell them "Don't tell me what you CAN'T do, tell me what you CAN do!" 

Amber

"I arrived at Serenity House after being released from Santa Rita County Jail.  My struggle with alcoholism and drug abuse had left me alienated from my family and owning nothing but the clothes on my back.  Through the program at Serenity House I found the guidance I needed from supportive women and mentors until I was able to fly on my own!  Since graduating I have remained clean & sober and have worked successfully for a Chevrolet dealership in San Leandro for 5 years.  I am able to provide for myself and my daughter,  we have our own apartment and 2 kitties – Max and Papa!  Whenever I can I try to share my own experience to help other women who struggle with addiction, incarceration, and domestic violence."

Amy D.

""I am from Richmond, CA, and have 3 children.  I started using drugs at the age of 15, after having been introduced to drugs by my grandmother.  Both sides of my family used drugs, so I was constantly exposed to that lifestyle.   

 

After 20 years of using I was finally able to admit that I had a problem.  I also had to admit that I could not get better on my own.  At Serenity House I have learned to manage my anger.  I have learned humility.  I've learned what "an attitude of gratitude" is.   I've learned to love myself & take care of myself.  I've learned to forgive myself and learn from my past mistakes.  I have a peace of mind that I've never had before. 

 

I’ve been clean and sober for 6 months now!  I know if I stay connected and continue to apply the tools and coping skills, I have learned here at Serenity House, I'll be able to live a clean and sober, joyful life!

 

I plan to complete my culinary studies after graduating the program.  In the future I would like to go back to school to become a therapist." 

Channel

"My name is Nicole G, I'm a recent graduate of Serenity House and now working with the program. When I walked through the doors 1 year ago, I didn't realize that my life would forever be changed. I came in with shame, guilt, trauma, health issues and a broken spirit. I trusted the process.
I am now working as a graduate intern for Sister to Sister 2, and am learning fundraising and grant-writing skills. I also hosted our Survivors Speak Vigil on April 13, and am now the Oakland Chapter of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. I want to use my experience to help other women who struggle with trauma and addiction."

Nicole

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Your life matters,

you can dream again.

Serenity House

is an affiliate of Sister to Sister 2, Inc.  A 501(c)(3) non profit organization whose purpose is to work with women who have substance abuse and/or domestic violence issues. Tax ID # 27-1885809.

Office #: 510-891-0464

Fax #:     209-661-7996

Email:    serenityhouseoakland@gmail.com

Address:  2363A San Pablo Avenue

Oakland, CA 94612

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