A few years ago, Heidi Hansen stayed at the Value Motel in Hazel Dell, an infamous motel where drugs were regularly bought and sold. She was homeless, anxious and in need of shelter.
She remembers the experience as an experience of utter hopelessness and despair.
“This place really needed to come down,” she said.
In 2020, the Value Motel was converted into Kasper Recovery Housing. Years after his first stay there, Hansen would land there again. Only this time, it would be the catalyst for her recovery, a place of hope and rebirth instead of addiction and despair.
Hansen has suffered from debilitating depression and anxiety all his life.
Recently, after a traumatic divorce and custody battle, Hansen, 57, a retired child mental health therapist, freelance artist, and mother, fell into emotional distress with alcohol as a remedy. She lost everything and began to live on the streets.
The experience still haunts her today.
“The stress of being homeless really exacerbated my mental health issues,” she said. “It brought me a whole new area of trauma. I need therapy now, to help me overcome the flashbacks and nightmares of homelessness. “
Hansen finally found the courage to ask for help. She connected with the Vital Crisis Stabilization Unit in September.