Natasha has been clean and sober for 16 months.  

As a young adult, Natasha was a functional addict for nine years—sustaining a successful career in the newspaper industry. But shortly after she found out that her mother had been murdered and her best friend passed away from a life-long asthma condition, Natasha went over the edge.

The news shattered her. She didn’t want to live anymore. She had attempted suicide on six previous occasions, but this was it. This felt different. Natasha didn’t want to survive this attempt. She started taking muscle relaxers and sat down with a bottle of wine. But not wanting anyone to find her body, she decided to drive to a nearby hospital; right before the parking lot, she had second thoughts about pulling up to the hospital, so she turned around, making an illegal U-turn. But a cop had watched her and pulled her over. The traffic stop undoubtedly saved her life as the officer escorted her to the hospital, where she fell to the ground, passing out.

Natasha woke up a week later at an ICU in Tucson. 

The recovery was long and arduous, but something positive came out of this experience. She met a very singular man that was also struggling with substances and depression. And together, they started a family. And for a time, Natasha and Pua were very happy, but addiction and homelessness remained a constant struggle in both of their lives.  

Natasha didn’t have stability while growing up. Her mother was in and out of jail, struggling with her own addictions, so Natasha spent many years in foster care, surviving extreme physical, sexual, and physical abuse from a very young age. She sought to escape the pain of life and suppress her traumas with pills, alcohol, coke, sex, and self-harm. With so much trauma in her past and the strain of trying to raise a child while homeless, it seemed overwhelming. Both Natasha and Pua were on edge and arguing quite a bit. They needed help.  

Eventually, the young couple found Gospel Rescue Mission. Pua was convinced that the Recovery Program was exactly what they needed to get their lives back on track. Natasha was unconvinced, but she was determined not to make the same mistakes and provide a better life for her son, so she agreed. And, once here, a profound sense of peace filled her spirit. This is where they needed to be.  

Natasha found the structure, the guidance, the love, and all the help she needed to heal from her traumas, learn how to be a better parent, and working side-by-side with her partner, Natasha broke the chains of addiction… forever changing the course of their lives.  

You can listen to her full story on the Homeless to Wholeness podcast: