Barbara Baker Advocacy Director & Certified Peer Support Specialist
I grew up in North City and dropped out of Vashon High School in the 10th grade. I later received my GED in prison. I come from a family of 7 children, and now have two grown children, 6 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild with 1 more on the way.
My work experience before coming out of prison was short. I never stayed at a job more than 6 to 8 months. After I was released from prison for the last time, I first worked part-time for Project COPE and Let’s Start. I have been at Center for Women in Transition for the last 18 years.
I spent a total of 15 ½ years in prison because of my drug use. I shoplifted to support my drug habit. While I was in prison in the late 1980’s, I contacted Project COPE about getting into their program. I thought Project COPE was the answer to my prayers. But I still needed treatment, and a change of people, places and things. Even though I had a great support there, I ended up back in prison because I hadn’t received treatment or made a real change in my life.
When I came out of prison again in 1995, I was willing to do anything to remain sober, and I was hungry for suggestions from people who were making it. Narcotics Anonymous changed my life, along with support from the Let’s Start support group. They offered the guidance I needed to work through my addiction and get on a different track.
Today I work as the Advocacy Director for Keyway Center for Diversion and Reentry. I advocate for alternatives to incarceration for women convicted of non-violent crimes. These women come through the Mentoring and Advocacy program as an alternative to going to prison. I also advocate for legislative changes to assist women reentering their communities after incarceration.
I am proud to say that I have been clean and sober for 21 years now. I live in a beautiful 3-bed room house that God blessed me to see built from the ground. I have a wonderful relationship with my family. And I am happy to be able to offer women the same support that changed my life for the better twenty years ago. Contact: email@example.com