Monday, December 19, 2016

12 Days of Hope: She was homeless and addicted. Now she's a homeowner.

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Barbara Deale is one of Catholic Charities most loyal volunteers. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, she heads to Catholic Charities TEN Program to help serve dinner or deliver Christmas gifts or whatever else the staff needs help with. She also speaks to groups of residents who are working on overcoming homelessness.

Why is she so loyal?

Because 13 years ago, she was a resident at the TEN program, desperate to finally pull her life together. And now she is one the program's best success stories.

[WATCH: Barbara shares her story for the Catholic Charities waiting room, offering words of hope to someone waiting for help.]

As Barbara tells it, she was addicted to drugs and alcohol for years as a young adult. She had a daughter she was caring for and other children living with family members. She came to the TEN program to get her life together. Over the next two years, she focused on herself. She learned to overcome her addictions. She worked hard with her case manager. She started working.

Today, Barbara is 13 years sober. She works very hard at two jobs. She owns her own home in Maryland. Her four children have grown up, the youngest of whom is at college right now.

By her nature, Barbara is quiet. Yet, she has given back to Catholic Charities over and over again by sharing her story. A lifelong Catholic, she was part of the visit last year of Pope Francis, getting a chance to see him inside St. Patrick's parish.

In her volunteering, she often brings along one of her children or grandchildren. She wants to show the young women in the TEN program today that there is hope for a better future. She wants them to know she sat right where they sit now. And she made it.

Inspired? You can donate to the TEN Program right now!