Giving rides, clothes and hope for tomorrow

Mom wants to pay forward the help she got when recovering from addiction.
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2021 at 6:22 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Before Jamie Fleisch starts driving her car, she blows into a breathalyzer machine, and she is thankful she can have this transportation. “If I hadn’t had people guide and lead me and help me. That’s why I want to give back so much.” Fleisch regularly gives rides to other women who need help getting to counseling appointments and job interviews. She knows what it’s like to hit rock bottom and not even be able to drive. She plans on never turning back to that point in life, crediting Anderson County Drug Court, Oxford House, the generosity of people for helping her and her faith in God.

Fleisch said the Drug Court was an option to enter a program all about turning her life around after nearly losing it to alcohol and drug addiction. “And they helped me get into Oxford House Recovery.” At the group home for recovery, “They taught me how to live life again and not break the law and actually get involved. They let your kids stay there.” Now Fleisch celebrates family life with her toddler, Nora, and her baby boy on the way, along with their father. In addition to giving others rides, Fleisch enjoys gathering donated clothing and baby items that others might need when going through the same sort of tough times she’s experienced.

Prudence Spencer in Outreach for Oxford House of Knoxville, said Fleisch, “Moved on from Oxford and she still gives back to Oxford. She just has the biggest heart ever!” Spencer, who said she also had to overcome addiction at one point in her life, said the need for more group recovery homes is great. “To make a difference in our community, we offer this supportive living,” said Spencer.

Anderson County District Attorney Dave Clark said statewide statistics show for 2019 46% of people who take part in drug courts are able to complete the program. This includes recovery from addiction and resources to regain life skills and eventually reunite families.

Fleisch said her children and her faith are motivating her on a daily basis. “She’s everything that would make me want to go on and do the next right steps in my life...God willing. I know just for today.”

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