Jane Cave

Photo by Jane Cave

Elizabeth Bryant, also known as “Liz,” has had her fair share of rough patches in life. She also, however, wouldn’t trade any of what she went through. Because it brought her where it did: to Street Sense.

Liz first heard about Street Sense at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting where she has been attending for some time. “Work makes me feel good,” Liz said, “I get to express and support myself.”

She certainly has a story to tell, one she had thought “would ever happen to her.” After her and her husband separated, she found herself in shelters and struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. In spite of that struggle, she remembered the neighbors she grew up with. They were her safety net after being put up for adoption due to her own mother’s addiction problem. She began to seek similar community resources: help in places that were like her old neighborhood, where support had been abundant and healing.

Liz’s wake-up call originally came when she saw how her problems were affecting her children. Even now, close to the 10-year anniversary of her oldest daughter’s death from breast center at the age of 35, Liz maintains that it was her children and her faith in God that brought her the strength to get where she is now.

After stints of recovery in places like Bethany Women’s Center, Liz was able to become sober and realize that “there is more to life than drinking and drugging.”

Pursuing a GED and further education, attending church, AA meetings, and working at Street Sense have been filling up Liz’s life since then. She attests that being able to contribute to Street Sense and have a job selling the paper raises her self-esteem and helps her feel like more than a person standing on the street for others to pass by without looking.

Liz looks forward to a lot of things, such as reconnecting with her family — especially her grandkids — and finding an apartment that is better than her current one. “People think money, who you have on your arm, the car you have, the place you stay, are going to save you. But they’re not.” she said. Liz Bryant has proven that she does certainly know not only how to save herself, but how to thrive.