Lives are Transformed: Meet Kendra

Kendra never really had a chance at a normal life. After finding her father killed at age 12, she started to hear voices. It started small--just a faint voice here and there. With direct access to alcohol, she started to drink to drown out the voices and deaden the pain she felt. Eventually, the drinking turned into experimenting with drugs, until eventually, she was addicted. After witnessing more violence and crime, Kendra found herself homeless, without anywhere to go. The drugs only made the voices worse, and nothing could get her out of the perpetual cycle of grief. Thankfully, VOA was there.

Kendra and her wife walked into the shelter at Volunteers of America and were greeted by a community of people that really cared about them. The employees were invested in their lives, and wanted to help Kendra calm the voices and process the grief that she was feeling. After her wife decided to get clean, Kendra knew that it was time for her to change. She went into a recovery program, made it through each step, and eventually weaned herself off of the drugs and alcohol. Kendra was able to find medication to help manage the schizophrenia and was on her way toward a new life.

Two years after her recovery, Kendra is now employed at Volunteers of America and working with individuals in similar situations to find independence. She says that clients recognize her from the streets every day, and they know that if she can get clean, they can do it.

Kendra is just one of many team members that are the role models our friends need to show them the path out of homelessness. We are proud to have such a caring, kind, and loving team of colleagues who never judge, but lead with kindness and dignity.