By outward appearances, Jennifer Burke, 41, is the typical stay-at-home mom.
The North Philly resident lives in an apartment with two of her daughters, 9 and 10.
“I take them to school, do homework with them every day, cook, and do all the usual stuff every day,” she said. “Right now, I don’t have a job, but I’m looking for one.”
But, taking them to school every day, they became more and more aware of the well-known and documented opioid crisis unfolding under the tunnels near their school at the intersection of B and Lehigh.
Burke was quickly reminded of how, not too long ago, she was in the grips of the same addiction.
“They see everything they see on the streets now. I don’t look down on anybody, but I don’t want my daughters seeing that,” she said. “Right at Lehigh, they would see all the people living under the bridge.”
Today, Burke is five years clean.
Aside from all her parenting duties, she participates in the Achievement through Counseling and Treatment (ACT II) program by JEVS Human Services at 1745 N. Fifth St.
It’s how, motivated by the thought she might lose her daughters, Burke has maintained her sobriety and is now encouraging others at ACT their goals aren’t out of reach.
Read more about how Jennifer was able to achieve sobriety and turn her life around in this story from Star News.