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Rosie’s Place
Offering Women Shelter and Hope
by Andrea Cleghorn

From Chapter 1: Beach

Sarah Rose went into recovery January 12, 1993, a date never far from her mind. She remembers when she hit rock bottom. Her two young sons were being taken away from her. “They were all I really had.” She had few options: go to work, go to school, go to jail, go into a drug program. She took the program.
Sarah is from Brockton, a small industrial city south of Boston. Growing up, she spent time in foster homes. At one point she was put up for adoption, but she ran away. “Everyone in my family was doing drugs when I was growing up,” she says. “I’m not using this as an excuse, but it’s important. I guess you would call mine a dysfunctional family.”
She has a mother, a brother, and three sisters. She says her mother gave her what she could at the time, but she just didn’t have much to give. No one did. “My mother was very poor,” Sarah explains. “I don’t think she even had love to give me. Everything she did in the past is over. My mother did the best she could, I give her credit; today she’s my best friend. But I still suffer.”
Sarah has tried residential drug programs, halfway houses, and a drug treatment facility in the past. At the facility, she got into some trouble because she was angry—she picked fights with people. She says that she’s a very angry woman. “I’m a child in an adult body. It comes out. I let the child out. It never got out when I was a kid. Even though I understand the past, I still need—well, I do the best I can and try to help people a lot.”
One day Sarah came to Rosie’s for a meal with a friend and met one of the staffers. She liked the woman and began volunteering at Rosie’s, first in the dining room and then in the clothing room. At the time, Sarah was living with a man she was abusing and who was abusing her. She was always in tears. Finally, one day someone came up to her and said there was a bed available if she wanted to stay at Rosie’s for a while. “I couldn’t believe someone would come up to me and just offer me a bed. I hadn’t even asked. That was a Friday. I moved in that night.”
The overnight program at Rosie’s Place is set up for women to stay a week, but they may stay longer if they are working on a goal. The goal may be to find a place to live, or it may be to get into recovery. . . .
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