Celebrating Success with Adventure
June 20, 2017

Helping people exit homelessness is at the heart of all that CUCS does. Our housing programs help individuals and families find communities and stability. Within these housing programs are many stories of recovery and success. Recently, we had the pleasure of speaking with Maxine, a resident of The Lee supportive housing residence, about how she recently celebrated her successes.

A native New Yorker, Maxine struggled to maintain housing and stability for many years due to her battle with addiction. In 2010, she moved to the Lee and has since become a proud member of the community. With the help of her case workers, Maxine continues to work hard towards her goals and happily reports that she has been sober for three years. This March, she celebrated her progress by attending her family reunion on a Caribbean cruise!

Every other year, Maxine’s family travels to a different location for a big reunion. Having never been to one before, Maxine was nervous for this one, explaining “I wasn’t going to go because I had never been on a plane. My asthma stopped me from going to a lot of places. Now I just take my medicine and go on with my daily routine.”

After bravely sitting through her first encounter with turbulence, she landed in Florida where the cruise boarded and where her father was waiting to greet her. She had not seen him in over ten years. “When I saw him, he called me and that voice. I just turned around and I was so happy. I said ‘daddy!’ and we were just in tears. It was beautiful,” she recounts their reunion.

Maxine excitedly describes the ship’s beautiful elevators, grand dining halls and sparkling pools. The ship was so comfortable and had so much to do, that she and her family often forgot they were on a boat. Her favorite parts of the cruise were the delicious meals, amazing views and Karaoke night where she sang “My Girl.”

Maxine is grateful for her case workers who helped her prepare for and embark on this trip. “Part of my recovery comes from them. I don’t think I would be clean today if it wasn’t for the Lee. They are so consistent with the respect and they are right there with you and are understanding. It is up to you if you want to help yourself, and they gave me the opportunity to see that,” she says.

The trip helped Maxine explore outside her comfort zone and reconnect with her family. “I’ve been calling my brothers and my father on a regular basis now, just because of that trip” she explains. They are excitedly planning their next family getaway to Puerto Rico!