Most women turn to substance abuse to ease the emotional pain of parental neglect and abusive relationships. When cries for help are met with silence, women turn to pain-killers close at hand. We all turn to medication to ease pain. Unfortunately, the substances that ease emotional pain are all addictive. No one wants to become addicted to cocaine or heroin or oxycontin, it just happens to be the cruel side effect of a universal desire to be free of pain.
When the addicted woman sees a glimmer of hope, and decides she is ready to stop using, she may find her way to Grant House. We see some very strong women in our program. Women who are true survivors – who have experienced horrendous abuse, and yet have still managed to complete their schooling, run a business, start a home and raise a family.
They are survivors of terrible circumstances, yet society labels them addicts and alcoholics and turns its back on them. As staff, we often talk about how privileged we feel to have the opportunity to see underneath the label. Take away the substances and our women are talented, lively, caring, helpful, motivated, and creative.
Consider the accomplishments of a small selection of our clients, included below:
- Maisie has a gorgeous, powerful well-trained soprano voice, as good as any you’d hear on American Idol.
- Esther is a chef and has made restaurant-worthy meals on many occasions.
- Karen was discovered in Toronto by the Hugo Boss agency and has modeled in New York City and Miami.
- Hannah was a producer for the CBC documentary show W5. She flew all over North and South America working on films.
- Vivian studied medicine at the American University in the Caribbean.
- Laura does professional fundraising for organizations.
- Ruth is a registered nurse, specializing in emergency.
- Anna is a professional figure-skating coach.
- Gabriela is bilingual, and trained as an animal care technician.
- Joni worked for the Canadian Armed Forces, loading Hercules aircraft at the base in Germany.
- Dora worked as a law clerk in a high-profile Toronto law firm.
After graduation, our clients go on to pursue many accomplishments:
- Julie is a criminal lawyer.
- Tamara graduated from Ryerson in Social Work.
- Tina is employed by the City of Toronto.
- Tonya won her case in Superior Court and now owns her own home.
- Hallie works in security and is going back to school.
- Margie has full custody of her three young children.
- Darlene is employed full-time in the field of addiction support.
- Nan was on a CTV reality TV show produced by Kevin O’Leary.