Another week, another Stigma Fighter! This week one of our newest Stigma Fighters is featured, Stacey Bowen. Here she is in her own words:
I was raised by a single Canadian-born mother and am the youngest of six children. I have never seen or met my Canadian-born father who died of a drug overdose. My mother raised my family using Ontario Works; a program also known as welfare. We moved to Regent Park when I was twelve. When I was twenty-eight years old, my mother passed away. After that, I got involved with drugs for eighteen years. During this time, had two girls, one when I was thirty-two and another when I was thirty-four, which I raised as a single mom. At the age of forty-six, I went into treatment and got clean and sober.
I went back to school; when I was forty-seven I graduated from the George Brown College “Assaulted Women's and Children's Counsellor/Advocate” diploma program. I also got an "Advanced Counseling" certificate. In the past, I have volunteered at Toronto Western Hospital, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (C.A.M.H.), Covenant House Toronto, Red Door Shelter and St. Felix Centre. Some of my paid jobs have included: Addictions Counselor at Renascent 21 day Treatment Facility, drop-in worker at "The Meeting Place," and, temp-reception work at "Working for Change," a non-profit organization that helps people with lived experience find employment. I am presently an inclusive employment peer worker at the Dream Team. In my free time, I enjoy nature. My Long Term Goal is to become an Author and continue with "Motivational Speaking."