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From Homeless to Hopeful

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June 10, 2019 | By Liz Handzus

Erika Edwards

Eighteen months ago, the situation seemed hopeless.

“I was homeless, living in vacant houses, suffering from a drug addiction, and did not have custody of my children.”

Erika Edwards, a single mom in Washington County, was at a point in her life where she knew she needed a helping hand.

Although she had made some mistakes in the past, Erika was ready to move forward. She wanted to enter rehab to get clean. It was the only way she could regain custody of her daughter.

With hard work and willpower, Erika was reunited with her child. However, this victory was bittersweet. Her daughter was not meeting important developmental milestones, and Erika was worried. After receiving a referral, Erika reached out to Blueprints’ Early Learning Home-Based Program.

Blueprints started working not only with Erika’s daughter, but also with Erika through programs like 2GEN and Getting Ahead, which offer resources to help individuals get out of poverty and meet their career, educational and family goals.

Thankfully, Erika’s daughter has been meeting and excelling her developmental milestones. And, Erika has also been making progress towards self-sufficiency.

With the support she has received, Erika has been able to secure a full-time job, obtain a reliable vehicle, and develop a career plan. In fact, Erika has enrolled in classes to become a Certified Recovery Specialist. She hopes to one day own her own practice and become an Addiction Specialist to help people that are walking down the same bleak path that she once followed. “Blueprints has been my cheer team, absolutely my cheer team, no matter what,” said Erika. “For someone like me who does not have family, they have become my family and that means more than you can ever imagine.”