When Brandi Ross first arrived in 2021 at our VOA Hope Center in Greenbelt, MD,she had nearly lost all hope. In addition to being a victim of domestic violence and a single mother of a 15-year-old boy, Brandi has a long history of using methamphetamine.
“I used for 13 years. It started when I lost my mom from cancer. The same time my mom had cancer, my grandmother had kidney failure. Once my mom passed away, about two months later, my grandmother passed away and that’s what led to the road of drugs.”
Brandi knew she needed to make a change if she would be able to continue raising her son, Marcus. But things got worse before they got better. During her journey to sobriety, Brandi was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and underwent surgery. The strain of the pandemic and rising medical bills eventually forced her and Marcus into homelessness.
Struggling to manage her health and find work, Brandi made the tough decision to uproot her and Marcus and move from Arizona to Maryland to be closer to family. In Maryland, Brandi and Marcus landed in a shelter for victims of domestic violence. It was there that she learned about the VOA Hope Center.
“I called and spoke to a woman named AJ. She made me an appointment that same week. She came and got us in the Volunteers of America van. And that was when I first seen the doctor, the psychiatrist, and I seen the regular medical doctor here.”
Thanks to givers of hope like you, Brandi continues to receive the medication, care and support she needs to manage her health, maintain her sobriety and overcome her past trauma. Marcus also receives counseling and support and is the happiest he has been in a long time.
The VOA Hope Center uses a whole-person approach to address the long-term health and wellbeing of vulnerable men, women and children. In addition to mental health and primary care, the center also works to address other issues like housing instability. With help from one of our case managers, Brandi and Marcus were able to move out of the shelter system and into an apartment of their own apartment in September 2022.