Natasha used to live with her father and a brother. First time she left home when she was 9. The reason for the escape was the father who was drinking a lot and used to beat a girl. So she decided to leave the house for a safer place. She had slept in the basements of the houses, service tunnels, building halls. No wonder that the girl started using chemicals – sniffing. Clue sniffing is a well known drug among children, since it is very cheap and easy to get.
Now Natasha says that no one from the first street groups of children she joined is alive anymore: after getting used to sniffing, children usually switch to the stronger drugs, until they become finally injected drug users.
Natasha describes: “The first group of street children I was in consisted of 20-25 people. We all lived in a heating duct. We were all sniffing, but later on some children started using injection drugs. We made our living from beggary and robbing. My father was bringing me back home, but after a short while I was escaping again – I was literally drawn by the streets”.
Natasha had spent 8 years on the streets. Sometimes she was coming home. Many times she was caught by the police and brought to the state children centers. She was staying in each and every shelters in Odessa. She was never treated against her toxic dependency. “I decided to drop it myself. I felt bad, was walking like in a dream. A month after I dropped sniffing – I started feeling much better. And never again I felt dependency.” Natasha was intoxicating herself for 5 years. She came to “The Way Home” herself, in hope to change her life for good. She was forwarded to the girls shelter, but could not stay there for a long time. That’s how she finally came to the summer camp, organized by the Fund. After the camp she was attending the social work at “The Big Family” shelter. The shelter helped her to enter the IT-college. Her dream was to have education and find a person, with whom she could have a good family together. The dreams came true: she had graduated from college and got married. One year after a marriage, she visited the Fund together with her son, Kirill. She has never been drawn to the streets and she calls her long years on the street a nightmare. But nightmares tent to finish, once you catch yourself dreaming. Natasha seemed to find a lucky way to catch herself and restrain from the nightmare.