With a grandfather who was a local policeman for 20 years, a first communion ceremony at St. Joseph’s, and even taking her first breath in the Hillcrest Hospital, Cynthia’s connection to Petaluma runs deep. 


While her early years were spent in Sebastapol, Cynthia could not be kept from returning to Petaluma as a young adult. Unfortunately, Cynthia soon fell into the clutches of addictive substances and the relationship with her parents and 3 siblings deteriorated. With her parents now living in Oregon, Cynthia found herself alone and in the deep pocket of addiction. For 37 years, Cynthia’s life was shaped by this dependency on Methamphetamine. During this time, Cynthia also faced the hardships of being homeless for approximately 10 years. 


When Cynthia was ready to get off the streets, she faced the harsh realities of long waiting lists and restrictive qualifications needed to enter a shelter. Thankfully, Cynthia found a spot at the Mary Isaak Center to start over and people who would support her journey. One person she recalls is the current COTS Program Director, Robin, chuckling as she stated, “Oh I love Robin now. Sorry, Robin. But she was very hard on me at first.” This “Tough Love” allowed Cynthia to start working with her Care Team as she moved from the Mary Isaak Center to People’s Village, and finally out to permanent housing at Studios at Montero (SAM).  


People’s Village provided Cynthia with personal space, privacy, and new friends like Stacie, COTS People’s Village Services Manager. Cynthia liked living in People’s Village but knew she could not stay there forever. With the help of her Care Team, Cynthia secured a housing voucher and was able to move into SAM’s affordable housing, where she still lives today.  


Cynthia has recently been diagnosed with congestive heart failure but is able to access medical help through the support services offered through SAM and is excitedly looking forward to living out the rest of her years in her beloved town of Petaluma.