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It has been a seven-year journey to get to where she is today. Margie concedes that the year spent in and out of hospitals was the toughest part. "In the hospital, it is always hard to see the future. I had no place to live and was waiting on a placement to leave Greystone Hospital." Her journey was from Greystone to a St. Clare's Hospital-affiliated program to Community Hope, where she has lived for the past three and a half years. "I needed those years in a group home environment. It was therapeutic being with other people at that time and having staff support."

That staff support included encouragement from our peer counselor who shared his own struggles with depression; help from our RN with medical issues; accessing community-based services and establishing an exercise program she maintains daily. "My counselors at Community Hope have always given me unconditional support."

Margie attributes the staff 's continued encouragement and the time spent in Community Hope's supervised housing program with enabling her to create the future she now has. "I completed my Associate's Degree which allowed me to expand my pet sitting business." That new future also includes her own place. "Staff helped me apply for a rental housing voucher. I was able to pick my own apartment, somewhere I can plant a garden." In moving to her own place, Margie has now graduated to our independent-living program and continues to have a one-to-one counselor and the ongoing support of our staff. What inspires her to keep moving forward in this journey? "Creativity is my recovery. I sing, play drums and continue to write."

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