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Jessica finds happiness

When I first met Jessica in our Crisis Program she didn’t say much. She was polite, yes, but made little eye contact and often looked down at the floor. Jessica said “please” and “thank you” often, but would not speak unless asked a direct question. And even when she did answer, she would mostly give one-word responses. She did not share much about herself, but one day finally mentioned that she was going through some losses in her family.

After losing her mother, Jessica felt she was left with no choice but to move to a new city and create a new life for herself. She said that the rest of her family was not taking the loss of her mother well. In fact, they were abusing drugs and alcohol to cope. Watching her mother deal with addiction made Jessica determined to create a new path for herself.

As the weeks progressed, Jessica opened up to me more and more about her family life and her desire to find a job. She really wanted a fresh start at life. Eventually, she signed up for a pre-employment program where she learned many skills like resume writing and job interviewing.

I was so proud of her when, one day, she announced that she found a job! She’d be working at a clothing store giving her expert opinion on cute outfits and helping others feel good about themselves.

Recently, we went on an outing and took a ferry across the water to Granville Island. All the girls mentioned that they had never been on a ferry before, but Jessica was visibly the most excited. Her face lit up as we passed landmarks. She smiled and laughed alongside the other girls.

At one point, as the boat was cruising across the water on the beautifully sunny day, Jessica turned to me and mouthed silently, “I’m happy.”

Aquabus” by Hamedog is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0