Staying True to Herself

Sharon Hicks was connected to EOCP as a result of domestic violence. She had to leave a dangerous situation and as a result her daughter had been removed by Child Protective Services to ensure her safety. She understandably suffered from low self-esteem and depression when she entered EOCP.  Living with AIDS and enduring an abusive relationship could easily explain her feelings.  The good news is that she reacted well to coaching and encouragement.  Receiving this type of support from EOCP staff helped her find her voice and she became a very strong and outspoken person.  While she could easily have gotten distracted expressing her genuine anger and pain, she directed a lot of her energy towards reuniting with her daughter.  To this end, she enrolled in a relapse prevention course at East Oakland Health Center and attended the sessions regularly.   As a testimony to her ongoing commitment, she always returned clean drug tests.

Sharon stuck to her money management plan and worked closely with the Homeless Action Center as they defended her claim for SSI benefits. Their efforts were successful and she could now look forward to a dependable income source.  This was a key step in her plan to regain custody of her daughter.  While she waited for the paperwork to run its course, she accepted housing at Walker House.  This placement was not a good fit for her, so she stayed with her mother until she received her initial grant -award.  She continued to meet with her EOCP Case Manager, who assisted her in finding an apartment. The many efforts and processes culminated in the acquisition of a new apartment and a plan to have her daughter join her permanently.

Sharon succeeded in turning her anger into excellent self-advocacy skills. She has worked with the Interfaith Coalition to furnish her home. She has connected to WORLD and other community resources to assist her in building her resiliency skills and provide her with ongoing peer group support. She also continues to see her EOCP Case Manager in aftercare to ensure she stays on track.