Human Support Services


Woman baking

Olivia’s Story

Her hands are dusted in flour as they knead dough, purposefully molding the bread into shape.

Later, she’ll mix batter for cakes, carefully measuring ingredients and scooping the soft gooey mixture into the pans.

It’s methodic, calming work. There’s something rewarding about watching the fruits of her labor come to life as the baked goods rise in the ovens.

When she leaves work, maybe she’ll make a call to chat with one of her children, or maybe she’ll visit her grandchildren. She might take one of the yoga classes she recently signed up for, or spend time with some of her new friends.

For the first time in decades, the road Olivia is on is a good one.

It wasn’t easy to get here, and she didn’t do it alone.

Olivia was only 12 when she started drinking to escape the abuse in her household. By the time she was 21, she was using cocaine.

She married young, and had children in her 20s. Over the following decade, she struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and mental health issues that spiraled out of control.

She divorced her husband, lost touch with her children and ultimately faced trouble with the law and spent time in prison. She couldn’t find a steady job and was plagued by negative thoughts and behaviors.

As the years wore on, Olivia made several attempts at rehabilitation and participated in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. She sought treatment for PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, paranoia and depression.

But still, Olivia struggled to stay sober and manage her mental health. She felt isolated from family and friends and was separated from her children.

This was not the life she wanted.

Olivia knew she needed to change and needed help to do so. When she came to Human Support Services, she was ready to pursue the road to her best life.

At HSS, Olivia received counseling for substance abuse and mental health issues and joined our women’s group, where she receives valuable support from others who have faced the same struggles.

Living in our transitional housing has given her the opportunity to learn to budget money. She has learned to focus on self-care, and completed extensive dental work that has helped improve her self-esteem and outlook.

Over the last several years, she has developed a network of friends and has repaired the broken relationships with her family.

The care Olivia receives at HSS has paved the way to a better life. She has been given the tools necessary to successfully manage her depression and work toward her goals.

Olivia’s future is brighter than ever. She has been drug-free for 10 years and has set goals to become a full-time employee at the bakery and spend more time with her grandchildren. With help from HSS, she found a second chance to live her best life.

Like Olivia, many people in our community are traveling down the road to recovery. HSS is there to give them the opportunities to make a better life.

Tax-deductible gifts from friends and neighbors help make that possible.

This holiday season, consider making a charitable donation to the Human Support Services Annual Holiday Appeal to help Olivia and others like her.

When you give to HSS, the road to a better life connects all of us.