Homelessness often means that an individual hasn’t just lost their housing, but their relationships and community as well. This Mother’s Day we are highlighting one mother and daughter for whom addiction and homelessness severed their relationship, but through healing and support from COTS was restored.

As a child and young adult, Diana was close to her mom Beverly. They did everything together, like shopping and going to the movies. But things began to change. A traumatic experience caused Diana to keep parts of her life secret. “I didn’t know how to talk about it and I turned into a very secretive person,” said Diana. Diana’s alcoholism further separated her from her mother and eventually caused Diana to become homeless.

“So, when you’re homeless, for me, I was very embarrassed,” said Diana. “I knew that the minute I asked for help, I would have to stop drinking. And I wasn’t ready at that time.” Beverly knew that Diana was homeless. “I was terrified, she said, “that’s the only word I can use. I looked for her all the time.”

After a few shelter stays, Diana came to COTS. Through support and determination, Diana was able to become sober, get a new job, and gain housing. One day, after a few years of stability and sobriety, Diana’s partner suggested she call her mom. So, she did.

Beverly was beyond thrilled. “Oh my God, it was the happiest day of my life,” she said. “I was on top of the world. Anybody who knows me saw the biggest change in me you could ever imagine, because I always felt like I just couldn’t be happy, not knowing how my daughter was. And to get a call like that…I just couldn’t wait to see her. I couldn’t wait to put my arms around her.”

Today, their relationship is stronger than ever. They are back to shopping, going to movies and more. “Our relationship now is wonderful,” said Beverly. “We love being together. We laugh a lot. We chatter away incessantly.” Diana credits the mental health support she received at COTS with not only helping her personally, but also helping her relationship with her mother. “Therapy, I think that was one of the biggest turning points in my entire life,” said Diana.

Homelessness doesn’t just affect one individual. The loss of connection can be devastating to families, but the connection doesn’t have to be lost forever. When meeting other families in this same experience, Beverly refers them to COTS. “The success rate, what they offer, it’s just wonderful.”