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Nobody Leaves Without Help

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

Emalie lost five years of her young life to drugs, alcohol and an abusive boyfriend. She has unhealed broken bones to show for it. But in December of 2020, she was ready to quit. She Ubered to Homeward Bound with a bottle of vodka that she emptied on the

way. She arrived drunk and terrified.

When she heard that residential treatment was full, Emalie collapsed in the lobby sobbing.

And that’s when Homeward Bound’s second line of compassionate care kicked in. At other agencies, no room means come back if you can get back, but not at Homeward Bound. With 41 years of experience and social service partnerships all over North Texas, Homeward Bound’s determined staff go the distance for every client.

Jeana Finch, a Recovery Support and Mental Health Peer Specialist, heard Emalie’s cries.

“You’re not going to leave,” Jeana said. “We don’t do that here. We don’t let anyone leave without treatment.” Jeana gently led Emalie down the hall into her office. There she searched until she found a space for Emalie at Sober Living America.

You’re not going to leave. We don’t do that here.

Jeana fed her, introduced her to other staff members, and told her how much they trusted Sober Living America. Before Emalie left, Jeana hugged her. “I know you’re scared,” she said. “I know you’re really scared. But if you just do this and give it everything you have, then you’ll succeed.”

Emalie didn’t believe her. “Alcoholics and addicts, we are so fragile,” she says. “We are terrified. Everything we do is driven by fear. It’s so easy just to avoid the real world or just to numb yourself.”

But Homeward Bound’s love for her had awakened something in Emalie. She did everything asked of her. And Jeana was right. It worked. Today Emalie is not only sober but she’s a campus director of Sober Living America. Now when Homeward Bound is full, Emalie comes to pick up girls like the one she

once was.

Now...Emalie comes to pick up girls like the one she once was.

And the hand-off is just as warm as it was for her.

As part of Homeward Bound’s network of care, she sees things from the inside – and she’s even more impressed. One example she mentions is Wanda Brown, Homeward Bound’s Mental Health Peer Manager.

“People don’t go to bat for people like us,” Emalie says. “Our own families give up; she doesn’t. That’s the kind of people you want on your side.”

Homeward Bound Inc. is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization based in North and Far West Texas. If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance use disorder or having a mental health crisis, please call Homeward Bound at 214-941-3500.

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