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Haven's Journey of Healing and Empowerment through Peer Respite

Haven's Journey of Healing and Empowerment through Peer Respite | Project Return Peer Support Network

Haven's Journey at Hacienda of Hope

Haven has been working towards recovery for several years now but has faced barriers such as abusive household dynamics, ineffective prescribed medication, and feelings of not being seen. Since September of 2022, Haven has discovered solace in the welcoming embrace of Hacienda of Hope.

Reflecting on their experience, "There's something about this place that just works, and I can't quite put it into words,” Haven shared. “Normally, when people ask how I'm doing, I simply say, 'I'm okay,' because that's usually the truth. But here, when people ask, I can genuinely respond that I'm actually doing well. My medication works, and for once I feel happy," Haven said with a genuine smile.

Haven resides full-time in a sober living facility, but they struggle to transform it into a space where they feel comfortable. In contrast, Hacienda of Hope provides them with immense comfort for various reasons, with the most significant being the freedom to express their authentic self. Hacienda of Hope nurtures an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels welcomed. As a nonbinary and gender nonconforming individual, Haven is compelled to use a name they no longer identify with in their current living situation. However, at Hacienda, they have the opportunity to use their chosen name, which holds great meaning for them throughout their stay.

The house has provided Haven with an avenue to make friends, express their creativity, and ultimately be given a chance to experience happiness. "I want to carry the positive energy I feel here back to my home," Haven added. They also expressed gratitude for the comfortable environment of the peer respite. Access to streaming services, which they don't have elsewhere, allows Haven to enjoy their own company without feeling isolated. Additionally, the large-sized single person rooms play a vital role in fostering a sense of tranquility during their time at Hacienda of Hope.

Haven now envisions a future for themselves, with dreams of returning to school, relocating to a pleasant area, and having animal companions. They humorously mention, "The only issue I want to have is 'keeping my cat away from my butterflies.'"

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Michaella Huck

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