"People here at Interim House call her the miracle child," says Catherine Weigley, an outpatient therapist at Interim House, Inc. She's referring to Pam, one of the program's outpatient clients.
Over the last two years, Weigley has watched Pam transform from an active substance abuser to a college student. Just a few years ago, Pam found herself jailed due to substance abuse issues. She had been living on her own since age 16 --her father was a drug dealer and her mother died at a young age. The court referred Pam to the Forensic Intensive Recovery program managed by Public Health Management Corporation. Upon successful graduation in spring 2007, she moved to Interim House for its residential treatment program and transitioned to its outpatient therapy program in the fall of 2007. Just one year later, after sharing her story of recovery and her aspirations on a local radio talk show, the station's owner felt moved to offer Pam college tuition. "I was so thrilled, I almost had a heart attack," said 24 year-old Pam. In January 2009, she began classes at Community College of Philadelphia toward a degree in behavioral health. For many, Pam's story offers inspiration, as well as evidence that second chances and treatment - well developed and well managed - can work.