At just 14-years-old, Audrey was taken to Emergency Psychiatric Services (EPS) when her school’s therapist noticed cut marks on her arms, a response to being sexually abused two years prior. The next nine years were rough; between Audrey’s mother’s belief that her daughter was not in need of mental health treatment and getting heavily involved in addictive stimulants, Audrey’s life took a turn for the worse. “When I was 16, I thought I was hearing God,” she said. “Once I started doing drugs, that’s when I started seeing things and hearing things that weren’t there. Drugs definitely induced [my symptoms of schizophrenia].” Around the age of 23, Audrey became fed up with the way her life was going. After doing some research about various programs in the area and trying out their services, Audrey felt fortunate that Momentum’s Youth and Family Services program was able to provide her with the help and resources she needed.
Since she started coming to Momentum, Audrey has been working with Keisha Buenconsejo, a Personal Service Coordinator and has made tremendous progress. “[Momentum provided] a wraparound program and that’s exactly what I needed,” Audrey said. “I needed someone to give me structure throughout my week because all I was doing was sleeping. I also like the fact that they would actually come out to my home to see me because I wasn’t comfortable enough to leave my house.” Momentum aims to meet clients where they are, even if that means venturing off-site. “At the time, Audrey had goals[in which she wanted] to be a part of the community, but wasn’t quite ready, so we met at her house for a while to talk, plan, and strategize how she would go out into the community or participate in activities that could benefit her,” Keisha said. “It’s all about her comfort level, so when she was ready, Audrey took off and went above and beyond.”
Currently, Audrey is employed as a valued member on a Guest Services team and completes a variety of tasks including valet parking cars for guests, providing transportation for guests to and from the airport, and maintaining the property so that it is presentable. “Until now, I’ve never had a job where I wake up and am like, ‘Hell yeah, I’m going to work!’” Audrey said. “I want to move up, so that’s my main focus right now.”
Audrey gives big kudos to Keisha and Momentum for her success in the Generation program and beyond. “Other places don’t check in when you don’t feel like showing up for an appointment, but Momentum reaches out to ask ‘is everything alright? What’s going on?’” Audrey said. Keisha has also been a key player in Audrey’s success. “I like how honest and how warm she is at the same time. I like honesty, but I also like positive criticism. Keisha’s always been there for me no matter what. She made sure I had all of these resources in case she wasn’t available,” Audrey said. “She’s just an awesome person.”