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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's a proud feeling for Eleshia Oldham, sitting in a dormitory for homeless women at the Sulzbacher Center.

"I made it," she said.

For the first time in three years, she's visiting. Oldham once slept in a bed at Sulzbacher.

"I just feel like I'm achieving. I'm moving on. Ever since three years ago I haven't been back. I have my own place," she said.


She's come a long way from her days on the streets of Jacksonville.

"No money, nowhere to sleep. Sleeping at the Landing with strangers," she said.

For years, Oldham struggled with a dangerous addiction. Powder cocaine and marijuana were her drugs of choice. She remembers hitting rock bottom, knowing it was time to change and decided to make a call to 211 for help.

"I don't know it was just God leading me here," she said.


"The reality is you as an individual have to be ready to climb that mountain," said Suzanne Bonafanti of the Sulzbacher Center.

Bonafanti helps to run the center. She's especially proud of Oldham, the very first graduate of their GED program. The partnership with Florida State College at Jacksonville, is proving to be a real success.

"She has great dreams and hopes for herself. And she's going to achieve them. Look at what she's already done," Bonafanti said.

Oldham, a college-bound GED grad, is also now an expectant mother. She clearly has some wisdom to share.

"If I always do what I've always done, I'll always be what I've always been. You have to be willing to change."

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