Renewal Story: Arica

Posted: June 7, 2022

“My mother was a drug addict for most of her life,” says Arica, “but she was my best friend.” Arica’s grandmother was also addicted – to alcohol – but Arica had somehow escaped the family tendency. She had a good job and place of her own. Then her mother fell into a coma, and Arica’s life changed dramatically.

Although she had siblings and extended family, Arica felt very alone during that time. “Nobody understood what I was dealing with. My aunt and my grandmother were planning my mother’s funeral. I didn’t like that they had given up on her.” For four months, Arica spent most of her time at the hospital, losing her job in the process. 

When her mother passed away, Arica fell into a deep depression. Within a few months, she was evicted from her apartment. Now homeless, Arica discovered she was going to become a mother herself.

“I was either in a shelter or sleeping in my car until I was five months pregnant.” Arica knew she needed to give her daughter some stability. She found UGM-TC’s Family Center.

Here, she says, “People cared about me. I could take my time and think about what I wanted to do with my life.”

Today, Arica is working toward a business degree so she can provide a safe, stable home for her daughter, Joyce, now two. “UGM-TC is an enormous blessing,” she says. “This is the most peace I’ve had in my life since my mother passed. I’m really

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