Art creates opportunities to express emotions, reduce stress, and bolster self-esteem. At Talbot House Ministries, clients like Coco are learning to process their recovery journey through music, painting, and other artistic pursuits.

Coco enjoys painting and has learned to express herself through this particular hobby. She recently created a piece called “Light of the Bleeding Heart,” which showcases knocking down facades while allowing other to see the light inside of you.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, she was the only one of her biological mother’s seven children to be adopted. Her adopted parents worked on various Air Force bases, which provided a wonderful opportunity to live overseas in places like Japan and Italy. After retirement from the Air Force, her father moved the family to Destin, Florida.

Over the course of the next five years she met some great friends, and some who were not the best influences. She also survived difficult experiences and began experimenting with drugs. After receiving news that her dad was sick, she immediately received another call informing her that her mother died of a massive heart attack. This news caused her to spiral into despair, and she didn’t know how she would recover.

Without her parents’ support, Coco was homeless for a year and a half. She heard about Talbot House and decided to stay as a guest for two weeks, and eventually entering our program. She began learning to process anger, abandonment, and other internal struggles. Through Talbot House’s case management and medical care, her life was saved.

Coco states, “the hardest thing about homelessness is the stigmatism that comes with it… We still have the same emotions, feelings, and fears as everyone else.” Through Narcotics Anonymous classes and support in a structured environment, she is now four months sober.

Things are changing for Coco, and she is nothing but positive. She says that she is ready to acknowledge who she is and her role on God’s righteous path. For Coco, home means an honest, and open-minded environment; where she is honest in what she is doing, open-minded to the journey coming her way, and walking in a Godly path. She plans to continue painting, which allows her to express herself in a positive manner. Her career plans include earning forklift, security, and janitorial certifications, while her personal goal is to complete the FAFSA in order to go back to school and major in Social Work. She is also excited about celebrating her birthday next month!

Please join us in wishing Coco a happy early birthday, and congratulating her on the progress she’s making toward a self-sufficient life.
The beautiful mural pictured above is titled “Tobacco Leaf by MOTTAHEDEH” and painted by Gillian Fazio. It can be found at Gaines Jewelers on S. Tennessee Ave.