As a teenager, Ashley was diagnosed with endometriosis by a local physician in her hometown of Kaysville, Utah. Although prescription medication helped Ashley manage the painful symptoms of the disorder, after just a couple years of treatment she had become addicted to her medication. Her addiction rapidly grew and spiraled out of control. Ashley turned towards heroin and life took a turn for the worse.
An EPIC Turnaround
Life only got harder for Ashley as the years passed. As she continued to struggle with her addiction, Ashley unexpectantly became pregnant and had a daughter. She co-parented with the baby’s father until he was tragically killed by a drunk driver. Their daughter was just two years old. The stress of being a single parent, topped with years of drug addiction, became Ashley’s rock bottom and she knew she needed help.
“My daughter helped me a lot...she already lost one parent and I didn’t want her to lose another,” said Ashley.
Ashley checked herself into a detox and rehabilitation center. Rehab was excruciating, but after several months of hard work, lots of help, and self-determination, she was able to get sober.
For the last four years, Ashley has been living at Mercy Housing’s Francis Peak View Apartments in Kaysville. She credits Mercy Housing for keeping her off the streets and allowing her to raise her daughter in a stable home.
“Mercy Housing has helped me get on my feet. I had to start over and lost everything. Living where I am now has helped me to get to where I need to be. If it weren’t for Mercy Housing, I would be a single mother out on the streets,” said Ashley.
Although her journey has not been easy, Ashley is excited about what she has been able to accomplish so far. Her life is full as she juggles work, school, and family. For the last year, Ashley has been working full-time at Davis Behavioral Health where she helps adults struggling with mental health issues and substance abuse. She is also working towards a bachelor’s degree as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) at Weber State University. Ashley’s most important accomplishment, however, is her job as mommy to her 6-year-old daughter and being there as a role model for her.
Ashley also credits Resident Services Coordinator, Hannah, for encouraging her to apply for the EPIC Education Support Grant. This $3,000 grant, funded by the National Real Estate Practice of EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants, was awarded to 14 Mercy Housing residents this year; one of whom was Ashley! The purpose of the grant is to help with obtaining post-high school educational goals.
Headquartered in San Francisco, EPIC has a nationwide presence with a corporate culture that believes in the power of giving back to the communities in which they work and live. They encourage and support participation with non-profit organizations and Mercy Housing is thrilled to partner with them again on this grant for the third time.
Hannah wrote a letter of recommendation for Ashley as part of the EPIC application process. She is so proud of Ashley’s accomplishments and how she turned her life around.
“The fact that she [Ashley] started working and going to school alone is such a feat. I think it’s amazing that she not only overcame so much, but that she is now working to better the lives of others and really help them on their journeys,” said Hannah.
After all the experiences Ashley has lived through and the amazing courage she has shown at every obstacle, there is no question that Ashley and her daughter’s future are bright and full of promise.
“My life lessons have given me strength to work with other people, and to let people know that no matter what happens in life, everyone and anyone is capable of accomplishing their dreams.”
Everyone and anyone is capable of accomplishing their dreams
— Ashley, Mercy Housing Resident