My name is Charlotte and I am Women’s Bean Project. I come from a hard background. I was born a full blown heroin baby and was on Methadone until I was 8 years old. By about 10, I was off of Methadone and started smoking pot and drinking. That’s when my uncle began shooting me up with cocaine so that he and other family members could have power over me to do as they pleased. I never told anyone because telling could have your life taken from you, and giving myself up to them kept my younger sister and cousin from being hurt.
At 11, I got involved with meth, which I’ve been on for the last 19 years. Today I am serving a 3 year sentence at a halfway house and have been sober for one year and two months. It’s hard to not give up because every day is a continuous struggle. I never had a choice to grow up. I never had schooling and most importantly, I’ve never been given a chance.
When I heard about Women’s Bean Project I didn’t think anything of it. I was just hard up for a job. However, now that I am here and involved, I realize it is more than just a job. They are helping me with my education, job skills, computer skills, and training that I didn’t know I needed in order to get a steady job.
Women’s Bean Project is giving me the opportunity to make positive choices and to figure out what I like doing, where I want to go in life, and who I want to be. The way they make this happen is by caring.
All I ever wanted is to be cared for. I don’t want to feel alone or unloved or to have no self-worth. I’m judged all the time because of my background. Every day when I’m at work, I’m safe. The other women I work with are like the family I never had.
Thanks to everyone who is involved with Women’s Bean Project because you have made a difference in my life. Thanks for giving me a second chance and not giving up on someone like me.
~Charlotte, 2016-17 Program Participant