Our Impact: Stories

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…

Debbra Parrault

Resolana: Debra’s Story

“The Resolana program will lead you where you need to go.” Debra Bea McCarthy Lifelong Dallas-area resident Debra Bea McCarthy stays busy with her work for Amazon, completing her fifth year with the company as a trainer for Amazon van drivers. She’s the mother of five adult children and she and her husband enjoy their home in Lancaster. And she sings in the Living Sound Choir at Inspiring Body of Christ Church. Her life today is, however, a complete turnaround from her youth. She had a turbulent early start with an abusive, alcoholic mother. After her parents divorced, Child Protective Services…

Danielle Keath

Resolana: Danielle’s Story

“If I didn’t choose Resolana, I would probably be dead.” Getting lost in the system is the last thing a prisoner in jail would want to experience. But for Danielle Keath, getting lost in the Dallas County Jail system meant getting found—and changed—through Resolana, the trauma and addiction treatment program run by Volunteers of America Texas. By all accounts, Danielle was responsible. She grew up in Phoenix and got a full-time job the day she turned 16. Weekends were party time with family, alcohol included. It wasn’t uncommon, she says, to have a beer with her mother over the conversation….

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Resolana: Sherri’s Story

“We can’t keep what we have until we give it away. I feel most close to God when I’m helping someone.” Business owner Michelle Deskeere stays busy. Her landscaping and lawn maintenance business is thriving. She loves the work and gets to lend a helping hand to some of her older clientele. She has a family including her parents, a brother, and her pride and joy: three sons. One is a 22-year-old Arlington city firefighter. Another is 16 and has made incredible strides with his high-functioning autism. Her eight-year-old is in gifted and talented classes. Her life and family represent…

Resolana: Michelle’s Story

“Resolana is a lifelong connection for women.” Michelle Deskeree Business owner Michelle Deskeere stays busy. Her landscaping and lawn maintenance business is thriving. She loves the work and gets to lend a helping hand to some of her older clientele. She has a family including her parents, a brother, and her pride and joy: three sons. One is a 22-year-old Arlington city firefighter. Another is 16 and has made incredible strides with his high-functioning autism. Her eight-year-old is in gifted and talented classes. Her life and family represent independence and stability to Michelle, two things that once seemed unreachable. As…

God’s Garage

A failing transmission and unreliable transportation made it nearly impossible for Sara Alonso to get to work and transport her three children back and forth to school.  After almost being stranded several times, Sara desperately needed a new vehicle; without it, she could lose her job and, most importantly, her independence. A recent partnership with Volunteers of America Texas allows our Permanent Supportive Housing participants to own a reliable vehicle.  Fellow nonprofit God’s Garage serves single mothers, widows and wives of deployed service members throughout the more excellent Houston and Conroe areas.  “I would like to Thank God for VOA…

Helping our Heroes: Brenda’s Story

Being homeless and alone was a circumstance that had never crossed U.S. Army veteran Brenda Tolliver’s mind. An ambitious self-starter, the native of Memphis, Tennessee began pursuing her dreams fresh out of high school. She would join the Army and then use G.I. Bill benefits for college and the law degree she wanted. And so, from 1990-1992, Brenda became one of the soldiers serving through operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Her service unfortunately left her disabled from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder but not even that stopped her forward progress. She came home to Tennessee, accessed her benefits and earned an…

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