Cincinnati Woman Partying Led to Homelessness

Commentary by Elizabeth Shockley

            You couldn’t have told me five years ago that I would have ended up at the door of the Drop Inn Center (Cincinnati's main shelter) for any help. Not me.

            You see, I was out partying with some so-called dear friends. However, when the money, the alcohol, and the drugs were gone, they had no use for Liz, so they put me in the street in the middle of the night.

            I was a complete mess. I was only going to stay overnight at the shelter; it was around the Christmas holidays in 1995. And, you know - I ended up staying for five to six months.

            Buddy (Gray), Gail (Holley), and Kathy (Nolan, more recently working at a shelter in Kentucky) talked to me as if they had known me all my life, and I give a lot of gratitude to them for helping me find myself and getting in touch with my Higher Power and AA and NA programs once again.

            After staying for almost six months, I worked and went to AA and NA meetings; and I saved my money through the 50-50 plan at the Drop Inn Center while I was staying there.

            I was able to accept responsibilities and get on with my life. I got an apartment through ReSTOC, a low-income housing corporation connected with the Drop Inn Center (which helps with the homeless.) You see, I was not only homeless, per se, but also “lost.”

            So, I want to thank my so-called friends for that night and for my new life - for throwing me out in the middle of the night.

            There is more in me to be forgiven than in any of you. I think I must be rather like the woman who loved much because she was forgiven much. And, as my grandma always says, “God loves you and so do I.”

            I’m going on two years of recovery today, “one day at a time.” And, by the grace of God, I truly want to thank God, whom I choose as my Higher Power, the Drop Inn Center, ReStoc, AA and NA, and the prayers and love from my mother and grandmother for my new life today.

Happy New Year. Thank you.