Prior to me coming into the Fairweather program, I was in very bad shape. All I would do is lay around my apartment everyday and watch television. I had all my blinds and curtains closed. I had it as dark as possible. I lived in a world of hallucinations, depression, anxiety, had very bad dreams and heard voices. I would look out my peek-hole and actually see and hear people talking, which made me afraid to go outside the apartment. I would only go out to empty the trash and check the mail. I was very afraid of people. For me to have to ride the bus was a crisis, because not only was I paranoid, but I thought everyone on the bus was either talking about me or simply looking at me. It got so bad for me I had to get off the bus and go back home. At home I couldn’t rest or sleep for weeks at a time. I had no one to call on, being that my family just didn’t understand what my mental state was. My brother and his girlfriend would bring me food.
At times my dreams would have me running from my apartment. Just to realize later that it was just a dream! I don’t know what caused me to try to act out these dreams. I do know that as far as I was concerned, my ordeals were so real and there was nothing I could do about them. My psychiatrist at the time acted as if he didn’t believe the psychotic episodes or what I was going through. He claimed that my mind was playing tricks on me.
Finally getting into Fairweather Lodge, It was a Friday that I was accepted into the program. They asked me when did I want to move in and I was so excited! I told them that I would move in on Monday. The clients and staff were so nice to me. I finally felt I was somebody with a support system and as long as I stayed in the program, that I’d never be alone.
The staff at Fairweather were and still to this day are the most professional and caring people I know. If I have a problem or concern they are always there for me. Since I came into the program I have made a 180° turn around. I’m not perfect and I still have problems, but in this program there’s always someone to talk to in helping you resolve your problems. I’m still a little apprehensive about people both staff and client, but through Fairweather they gave me the tools to cope. Fairweather tries to always have us do positive things.
I thank God and the Fairweather program for what it has done for me. Fairweather not only supply the bare essentials of life, like, food, shelter etc., but there’s a strong base to help you socially. Whether you need to see a doctor, go check with Social Security or to file your income tax. Fairweather can and will try to take care of you socially or mentally.
Fairweather has a job program also, where you can work and earn money. I’m presently a crew-leader on one of our janitorial crews. I’ve made employee of the month two times and to top that off, I made Janitorial employee of the year 2004. Can you believe that?
There’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever that if it wasn’t for Fairweather, there’s no telling where I’d be. That’s why I appreciate the Fairweather program and its entire staff. Here at Fairweather you are treated like a person and not by your illness. I’d recommend Fairweather to anyone.
- Sandra’s Story
“I have been at Fairweather Family Lodge for 6 months now. I feel like this place has really helped my family and me in so many ways. Before I came here I didn’t know what to do. I had no where else to go. Child Protective Service had taken my children from me and I was willing to do anything to get them back.
When I first came to Fairweather Family Lodge I didn’t know what to expect. Within two weeks the staff helped me enroll into a GED program.
The staff here have always been very helpful. They drive me to doctor appointments; they help me enroll my children in school and daycare. They make my family and I feel very special. They always make sure we have big parties for the holidays.
Since being here I have gained so much confidence and have managed to find a job. My children and I are so much happier now and I believe it is because we have a safe place like Fairweather Family Lodge to call home. Thank you to everyone who has made this program possible.
Sincerely, Sandra & Family
- Debbie’s Story
Debbie’s parents were drug addicts and she grew up bounced from place to place, including stints in the state foster care system. As an adult she ended up living on the streets, or traveling with truck drivers, isolating herself from the world as often as she could.
Debbie then became pregnant with her first child. Once the child was born she had a psychotic break and ended up in the hospital, causing her child to enter “the system” of Child Protective Services. A second child came along and Debbie realized that things needed to be different for her and her children, and sought out the San Antonio Family Endeavors Fairweather Family Lodge for help.
With the assistance and support of the Fairweather staff, Debbie worked for over a year to complete her CPS service plan and keep her kids. She says for the first time she feels as though both she and her children are safe and protected.
Debbie has become one of the model mothers within the program. She states there is nothing more important to her than her two children and she now understands that the work she is putting forth in bettering herself, is ultimately to give her children the life that they deserve to have.
She has taken GED classes and is now entering into the testing stage. Her teacher for GED has suggested that she take part in a two week prep program at St. Philips Community College in order to prepare to continue on with her schooling. Debbie states that the Fairweather program “makes me want to be someone.” Debbie has since decided she wants to be a counselor and work with teenagers that have been sexually abused and teenage mothers. She sees a bachelor’s and master’s degree as just another challenge to overcome and accomplish.