Tara Blakely came to Independent Living Centre Kingston in 2009. She wanted help applying for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

Tara endured emotional, physical, and sexual abuse as a child and as an adult. While living with memories of abuse, she supported her children by becoming a cleaner.

However, she lost her job because of addiction issues. She was unable to focus at work, wasn’t punctual, and resented supervision. When Tara came to see us, we told her that she had to stop using crystal meth before we could help her.

Tara eventually quit crystal meth, and when she came back to see us, we connected her with the Street Health Centre in Kingston. The centre provided extensive support to Tara on breaking free from her addiction. They also helped her receive medical treatment for her Hepatitis C.

After improving her health, Tara applied for a volunteer receptionist position. She loved being a receptionist.

She said the position made her learn new skills and gain a different perspective on life. Tara also said that she is happy with the strategies she’s learned to cope with borderline personality disorder and will never use crystal meth again.