Our Impact: Stories

Betty Morris

Why “I” Work With VOA Texas: Betty Morris

What keeps you motivated and dedicated after the 24 years that you’ve been with VOA Texas? I love working with seniors and people with disabilities and helping them to find affordable, safe, and decent housing. I love the VOA Family and how supportive they have always been to me. VOA has afforded me the opportunity to grow and advance in my field since I joined them in 1998. Explain how you have benefited from growth opportunities at VOA Texas. I started with VOA in the closing of the Louisiana Affiliate office and relocating the properties and positions to Texas in Grapevine. I…

Patricia Roland

Why “I” Work With VOA Texas: Patricia Roland

PATRICIA ROLANDFederal Case Manager Supervisor, Residential Re-entry What keeps you motivated and dedicated after the five years that you’ve been with VOA Texas? I have the opportunity to let individuals know that they are enough. Many haven’t heard those words and were always told the opposite. My job allows me the opportunity to help individuals navigate a better path or journey. I get to provide them with tools and resources to rebuild and unlock new doors. Explain how you have benefited from growth opportunities at VOA Texas. I’ve been allowed to develop a relationship with resources in the community. I’ve been allowed…

Shawanda Hibbeler

Cyber Crime Survivor

“VOA Texas provided me with a foundation of hope during the most hopeless point of my life.” Shawnda Hibbeler Cyber crime is something most Americans have only heard about. To Shawnda Hibbeler, however, an almost unbelievable series of cyber crimes left her and her daughter homeless, hopeless and without a penny to her name. “Literally overnight, my life was completely turned upside down, destroyed and stolen from us,” she said, citing internet-enabled financial theft, identity theft, internet fraud and abuse. “I lost all of my money, credit cards, job, house, car, belongings—absolutely everything. I was scared to death with nowhere…

Bouncing Back from Homelessness

“Volunteers of America has been a light for me and I will pay that amazing gift forward as I volunteer to counsel the homeless.” Craig Swan Craig Swain had it all. He was living a successful white-collar life, thanks to a genius for all things computers and the technology they entailed. It was a gift that Craig turned into a career, along with his natural fit for the corporate world. Well-liked, polite, and a master at his craft, good-paying jobs were easy to find. He had a nice home, a family. It was perfect. But it all changed in one…

Courtney Johnson

Resolana: Courtney’s Story

“My self-esteem is intact again.” It was 2014 and Courtney Johnson was in the Dallas County Jail. Based on the drug charges she heard in court she knew she would be here a while. She had no family. No money. No one to come see her. And she wasn’t even 30 years old. One day, she looked through the windows of her jail pod to another across the way where prisoners were doing yoga “I thought, ‘I want to do yoga.’ Someone told me it was a program pod for Resolana.” Courtney made the move and found more than a…

Chelsea Collier

Resolana: Chelsea’s Story

“I lost myself in my addiction; Resolana helped me find myself and be a better version of myself.” Chelsea Collier’s life as an only child started out just fine. She grew up in the Dallas area with two working parents. Her father worked long hours; she was especially close to her mother who spoiled her. But at 14, the first cracks in the foundation appeared when her parents divorced. She and her mother moved to Frisco and Chelsea found herself in the middle of nowhere. Then she met a family she fell in love with. “They would do anything for…

Xavier Jones

Resolana: Xavier’s Story

“It just takes somebody to believe in you.” For Xavier Roberts, the road to drug addiction was a long, slow downhill drive. The California native first set foot in Texas as a 32-year-old adult. Married, with children, she began so-called “recreational” drug use. “It was fun,” she said. “Drink a little here, snort a little cocaine there. I could go to work; I could take care of the children. I didn’t realize how progressive a disease addiction was.” It was an especially traumatic domestic abuse episode with her now ex-husband in 2012 that proved to be the event that caused…

Kathleen Callahan

Resolana: Kathleen’s Story

“Resolana saved me. It showed me what might be possible.” Kathleen Callahan was introduced to alcohol before she was old enough to go to school. At family gatherings, it was funny to the unaware adults and older teenagers when she would come around and get sips from the various people around her. “My sister recalls this 4-year-old staggering down the hall,” Kathleen said. There was, however, nothing funny about the foundation it laid for a life spent fighting drug and alcohol addiction. Kathleen grew up in chaos, making it the norm for much of her life. An older brother was…

Tara Browning

Resolana: Tara’s Story

“Resolana taught me that I can’t control everything, but there is a resolution to everything.” Tara Browning “I never wanted to be a product of my environment,” says Tara Browning, a former participant in the Resolana trauma and addiction program run by Volunteers of America Texas at the Dallas County Jail. Tara is living her best, most stable life now. But a glance backward and she can clearly see the impact of her turbulent early life. It was as a child in Hammond, La., that the turbulence began. It included a great deal of insecurity, including a period of molestation…

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Resolana: Karen’s Story

“I enjoy my life for the first time in years; just a normal life of being clean and sober.” Karen Wilson “I was a disaster case,” Karen Wilson says of her former life as a drug addict. “If you saw me then and see me now, total and complete change.” Becoming a disaster case was, however, a dramatic change itself for the Louisiana woman who describes her teenage years in a “very good, upper-middle-class family” where the father was a supervisor in construction. At 15, Karen found herself facing peer pressure at school that tumbled out of control when public…

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