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Salvos help Jess get her house in order

Salvos help Jess get her house in order

Salvos help Jess get her house in order

A participant in The Salvation Army’s Bridge Program for recovery, Jess (right) took part in a Selling Houses Australia makeover of a Salvation Army house. 

By Lauren Martin

Thousands of Australians tuned into the Lifestyle Channel’s Selling Houses Australia earlier this month to watch a Salvation Army property in inner-Sydney being renovated and sold to raise money for the organisation’s work with people experiencing homeless. Jess, one of the stars of the show, tells her story.

I grew up in a very loving home but, with an alcoholic father, life was tough at times. I went through primary school OK, but when I hit high school I started on drugs and alcohol and all that kind of stuff. I think maybe I was trying to fill a void from when I was younger or something ... or join in with my peers ... anything that would keep me up to party longer.

This lasted until 2005 when I had my first son. I always managed to give up the drugs and alcohol and cigarettes when I was pregnant, but as soon as I’d had my child, a couple of months down the track, I’d fall back into addiction. I’ve got four beautiful boys who were born in 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2013.

In 2011, I suffered a big setback when my uncle passed away from liver cancer. He was such a significant person in my life. In 2012, I started using the drug “ice”. That just dragged me down further and my addiction got worse. Then, in 2014, my life went really downhill. I was using every day and I just couldn’t seem to get myself out of the rut.

Well, my children were obviously affected, and my parents stepped in. In 2014, they took my children off me, which I’m very grateful for. My parents are very loving people. But I missed my children and cried about them every single day. My addiction had a hold of me so much that I couldn’t get myself out of it.

I began moving from house to house with my ex-partner. By 2016 I’d had enough and decided I needed to get myself into rehab. So, on 23 May 2016, I went to [The Salvation Army’s] William Booth House in Sydney and from there my life has just gotten so much better!

I never thought addiction was a disease, but being at William Booth House and knowing everything that I know now, I know that it is a disease and I was just one of the fortunate people that could get out of that.

I have a faith in God now. I never did before. It’s just amazing. I pray daily and I believe that God has something way better in store for me now. I’m just going to stick on this path that and keep going.

There are no adequate words to describe how much I’m thankful to The Salvation Army for all the help they’ve given me. Without The Salvation Army I wouldn’t have been able to get out of addiction. I wouldn’t be who I am today. I’m a changed person now, I’m “me” again. I have purpose in my life. I’m living back at home with my kids again and I want to study to be a youth worker.


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