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Kim Deuser, program manager for Pioneer's Phoneix House program recently received an email from Sara, a former resident.

Hi Kim,

This is definitely something I want to share. Sometimes the reason why people do what they do for a profession can get swept under the rug with all the stress related to it. It is important to me to share my story so that Pioneer can have it; and so people like YOU get a reminder of the difference you make every single day in the lives of others."

Pioneer operates the Phoenix House in Spokane, Washington, a transitional housing program that provides low-cost housing for adults with mental health issues. The program offers housing for up to six months, giving individuals the time to adjust and look for permanent housing.

This is the story that Sara wanted to share:

“When I first heard about Pioneer’s Phoenix House, I had just completed inpatient treatment for my addiction and was living at another housing program in Spokane that was not working out for me. My counselor in the outpatient treatment program I was participating in told me about Pioneer’s Phoenix House and suggested I look into it.

“With my past, I felt there was absolutely no way I could qualify for my own apartment. But in spite of my doubts, I filled out my application and within a week Pioneer accepted me and I moved into my very OWN room at the Phoenix.  It was such a relief and luxury to have my own safe space.

“Not having to worry about where I would sleep at night gave me the freedom to work on my issues and plan my path for the future. The Phoenix provided me with the support and stable grounding that had been one of the missing parts to my maintaining sobriety. My private and safe space allowed me to keep my job and focus my thoughts on my health and my work.  Housing proved to be a cornerstone for me to integrate back into Spokane and continue my studies. Without the opportunity to live at the Phoenix, who knows where I would be right now?

“Recently, I transitioned into my own permanent apartment which was a huge step for me. But Pioneer is still a part of my life as I was just hired for a part-time position as a Residential Treatment Specialist splitting my time between Pioneer Center East and Pioneer’s Spokane Counseling Clinic. It will be such a joy for me to work for Pioneer and be able to give back to the community. I want to be in the position to help others and treat them with the respect I received. I’m so excited!

“My plan is to finish my Chemical Dependency Professional Trainee (CDPT) certification and then transfer to Eastern Washington University to complete my Masters in Social Work with an emphasis in mental health. Pioneer is giving me a terrific opportunity to earn experience with my new position. My goal is to become an addiction counselor so I can give back and set an example for those who are struggling to maintain their sobriety. Thanks Pioneer!"