Contributed By Tara Van Gelderen
Walking up the twelve steps into Charlford house, I was broken; life had beaten me down and I didn’t know how to get back up on my own anymore. The house itself isn’t anything special, just a regular home in a normal residential neighborhood but inside, magic happens. It was here that I first learned about being loved by strangers without anything being asked of me in return. The first few days were a whirlwind of new faces and a noise level I had never before encountered. Addiction is a dark quiet place and it was hard to get used to living with so many people. Eventually I found myself disappointed when I went into a room and there wasn’t anyone there. Now it doesn’t feel like home unless fifteen people are there to say hello when I come in. The noise is what I learned to love at Charlford. If you listen closely you can hear the girls empowering each other, consoling each other so much more. These girls are keeping each other alive. Girls that had no one, girls that felt worthless are now standing up together and fighting not only for themselves but the people around them. It’s a type of power none of them possessed their first day in the house. The new ones are being shown how the house works and what to do by the seniors but they are also teaching the seniors responsibility, how to care for others and so much more. Humility lives here, no one is more important than anyone else, no one is better than or worse than, everyone has a voice, a vote and a chance.