Now, as Herz said, she has her children back. She's living in Waterville and in a new relationship. She'll finish soon with a degree in psychology and plans to start right away on a master's program in counseling.
"I don't think I could have done any of this without going to the Welcome Inn," she said. "I was angry about having to go there. I was mad at my case worker. But everyone there was really supportive. Even on the bad days. Gave me positivity, made me feel like everything was OK."
Because of how far she's come, she said, she has a message to others who are struggling: "If I can do it, anybody can do it. I was at the bottom, and I slowly made my way to the top. I can face any challenge that comes my way."