As a college-educated woman and happy mother of twin boys, Autumn never expected to find herself homeless, addicted to heroin, and abandoned at a Missouri truck stop. Yet Autumn feels God used these appalling circumstances to propel her into drug treatment and eventually to Maggie’s Place, where her life was completely turned around.
After injuries from a car accident left Autumn addicted to powerful painkillers, she ended up homeless and eventually in prison on a felony drug charge. She left prison without adequate treatment or a place to live and returned to the streets, relapsing into drug use. After being abandoned at a truck stop, a last-ditch call to her grandmother resulted in her entering drug treatment in Florida.
Autumn left Florida clean but expecting another baby. She returned to Cleveland hoping to find a job and regain custody of her sons, but was still homeless. After being turned away from a shelter on a cold winter day, Autumn found refuge in St. John Cathedral in Cleveland. She placed her last two dollars in the offering box and lit candles for her unborn baby and toddler twins, tearfully asking God to give her some kind of miracle. “After crying for 30 minutes in the church, I stepped outside the door of the Cathedral and heard the 9 am church bells ring. I know God used the bells to prompt me to call Maggie’s Place, and they told me there was an opening. God had answered my prayer.”
Autumn was able to move into The Zechariah House three days later, where she completed her pregnancy, maintained sobriety and worked to regain custody of her sons. “I was so thankful, because I had been homeless for two full years. I was so glad to have a bed to sleep in instead of a mat on the floor or sleeping outside on the streets. I didn’t have to worry about being cold, hungry, or having my stuff stolen anymore. I wasn’t using drugs, and didn’t want to. I finally had a real home.”
After a seven-month stay, Autumn gave birth to a healthy baby girl and also regained custody of her twins. With help from Maggie’s Place, she was also able to establish a stable home for her family. Her current goals include finding a full-time job and securing a vehicle.
Autumn credits both God and Maggie’s Place for her remarkable turnaround. “Maggie’s Place allowed me to rest, stay sober, heal, and do what was needed to regain custody of my boys. They showed me that I was not in a hopeless situation. I never really gave up on God or my faith,” continued Autumn. “He was right there with me during each step of the journey. I think of how far I have come, and how much further I will be, maybe in another year. I feel so blessed! If it were not for Maggie’s Place, I would have nothing.”