At the young age of 16, and after months of struggling, 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. Dependent on a daily high, her addiction rapidly grew and quickly spiraled out of control. Ashley then turned toward heroin and not surprisingly, her life took a turn for the worse.
An EPIC Turnaround
“My daughter helped me a lot... she already lost one parent and I didn’t want her to lose another,” Ashley said about her addiction problem.
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 and 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 and living where I live now has helped me to get to where I need to be. If it wasn’t for Mercy Housing, I would be a single mother out on the streets,” said Ashley.
Although her journey has not been easy and she still struggles with the daily demands of life, Ashley is excited about what she’s been able to accomplish so far. Her life is full with a busy schedule that 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 and substance abuse issues. She is also working toward 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, now six-years-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 is funded by the National Real Estate Practice of EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants and is awarded to 14 Mercy Housing residents, 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 nonprofit organizations and Mercy Housing is thrilled to partner with them again on this grant.
Hannah wrote a letter of recommendation for Ashley as part of the EPIC application process. She is so proud of Ashley’s accomplishments and her ability to take the road less traveled to turn her life around.
“The fact that she [Ashley] started working and going to school alone is such a feat. She lost all state benefits as soon as she started working and it drastically changes the lives of those who do. I think it’s amazing that she not only overcame that but 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 futures 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