A native of Anoka, Minnesota, Tara remembers the first time she tried meth. It was the summer before she entered ninth grade. “There was a house near us where everyone always did meth. I was over there with my sister and my best friend and they were doing meth. I had always said, ‘No, I don’t want to do it.’ But one day I tried it, and that was it. I was hooked.”
At 17, Tara received a second-degree felony for possession and spent eight months in juvenile corrections. After that, she was in and out of recovery, but would relapse regularly.
After receiving her second felony drug conviction, Tara entered an in-patient program and, shortly after, moved into PPL supportive housing for parents in recovery and their children.
“PPL has helped in so many areas of my life, not just sobriety and housing. They help you build confidence and security, to get all aspects of your life steady and secure.” She especially appreciated the outings they’d arrange for mothers and children, so they could have good experiences as a family while still getting on their feet.
One of the days Tara is most grateful for is when she had to confess to PPL staff that she had relapsed again. “It was truly a blessing in disguise. I’m sure they were disappointed, but they never made me feel ashamed. They never judged me. They genuinely cared. We talked and we made a plan for me to do 90 recovery meetings in 90 days, and I got back on track. It was a lot..but it saved my life.”
Tara recently celebrated four years of sobriety, and the purchase of a house in North Minneapolis! She’s working toward a college degree and works as shift lead at Punch Bowl Social. This summer, she’ll be trained to help open new restaurants across the country.
“It’s not just the treatment. It’s the after-treatment. Otherwise, you’re thrown back out there and it’s like, ‘What do I do now?’ PPL helps you establish a great new community and build a new life. I don’t like to think about it, but if I hadn’t found PPL, I think my future would have been prison or death. PPL saved my life.”