When Ashley stepped into Amethyst Place, she knew she was in for quite the adventure. It wasn’t just about fixing her finances; it was about finding herself and feeling empowered in the process.

“I started working with Erin as soon as I got here,” Ashley recalls, thinking back on those early days of trying to get her financial ducks in a row. It wasn’t exactly by choice, but there

was a glimmer of hope that kept her going.

“When I first got here, I owed an attorney $20,000,” Ashley says, reminding herself of the huge hurdles she faced. And as if that wasn’t enough, a car accident without insurance left her with a hefty payment plan. But Ashley didn’t let that stop her.

Despite the tough times, Ashley finds comfort in the progress she’s made. “It feels like a weight off my shoulders knowing I’ve stopped any accounts from going into collections. With my next tax return, I’ll have all of my debts paid off, outside of my student loans,” she says with a sense of pride in her voice. And with each milestone Ashley’s confidence in her ability to bounce back only grows.

“Now, my credit score is fair, but I hope it will increase by paying the remainder of what I owe,” Ashley explains. She’s determined to turn her financial circumstances around.

Looking to the future, Ashley’s got big dreams filled with optimism and ambition. “Once I get my degree and join the teacher’s union, I’d like to become a homeowner,” a vision that seems attainable as she watches other Amethyst Place women like her trek their own homeownership journeys.

Through her time with Erin and Amethyst Place, Ashley’s picked up some invaluable know-how. “I’ve learned all about debt-to-income ratios, why it’s a bad idea to cancel unused cards, and how to negotiate,” she says, grateful for the practical wisdom she’s gained. And her financial education didn’t start at Amethyst Place; she remembers picking up budgeting skills through tithing at church.

One course in particular, “Exceeds Expectations,” stands out to Ashley for its real-world advice on tackling financial hurdles. “It showed me the ropes on disputing sketchy charges and fixing mistakes on my credit report,” she e

xplains, thankful for the tools that have empowered her to stand up for herself.

To any new moms walking through the doors of Amethyst Place, Ashley’s got some simple but profound advice: “Sit down and talk with Erin.” It’s a reminder that nobody should have to navigate financial storms alone.

Ashley now lives in the community independently, has established her career as a teacher, and is looking to advance to a new position in the field. Through sheer determination, patience, and the unwavering support of Amethyst Place, Ashley isn’t just surviving the financial rollercoaster; she’s steering her own ship toward a brighter, more prosperous future.

*Ashley’s name and photo have been changed at her request to protect her anonymity. Unfortunately, stigma toward people in substance use recovery is still a barrier in many professional fields.