Aida Visits with her Granddaughter for a Safe Space and A Little Kindness

Aida’s descent into the grip of addiction was swift.  In 2003, she was in a relationship with an abusive man with a heroin addiction.  She developed a heroin habit herself and eventually sold everything she had to feed her addiction.  

Not only did drugs consume her finances, but they poisoned her relationship with her 3 kids.  Although it was the loss of her relationship with her children that brought her lowest, it also drove her to seek treatment and escape the clutch of her addiction.

Her kids often tried to help her get clean, but it never worked.  “If they would give me money to buy clothes,” she says, “I would spend it in the streets.”

It wasn’t until she realized the extent to which she lost her family that she began treatment. 

Now, she’s been clean 5 months, and she is grateful to be back in touch with her children. “They found it in them to forgive me,” she says. “It’s a blessing.”

Still, her life is not easy, and access to food and shelter are never guaranteed. 

She rarely sleeps in the same place 2 nights in a row. “I stay at the first [shelter] I see. A lot of them don’t have space.” 

She’s is grateful for places like Rosa’s that afford her consistent food access. “It’s a real struggle sometimes,” she says. “You don’t even have money for anything and these two slices are a blessing.”

She’s also grateful for each moment she spends with her kids and grandchildren.  When we spoke with her, she was visiting us with one of her youngest grandchildren, Savannah.

Aida loves watching Savannah grow up and hopes to teach her lessons she learned from her experience of homelessness.  One of Aida’s fondest memories was back when she had her own home and she longs to return to that time so that her family “can sleep over like they used to.”

It’s the moments she has with her grandkids like Savannah that give her the strength to continue her road of recovery.  

“I only get her for a couple hours, so I’d rather spend it here, in a safe zone.”

We’re always happy to have them, and we wish Aida continued success on her recovery journey.

Support Aida's journey by donating online or become an Official Rosa's Member.

Mason Wartman

Rosa's Fresh Pizza, 25 South 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107