Stories of Success

Meet Tammy.

Tammy is originally from California but has made La Crosse home since 2015. Tammy describes her parents as “great,” but despite positive memories and a middle-class upbringing, her life has been very rough.

Tammy moved here after losing everything out West. She had been struggling financially, and an acquaintance suggested she try escorting. It was not the life Tammy wanted for herself, but – desperate – she first turned to sex work, and then to drugs to numb the pain. Addiction soon took over Tammy’s life. She lost custody of her three daughters, and she was homeless and suicidal.

Tammy met her now-husband, who was born and raised in La Crosse, in California. The relationship is not a safe one for Tammy, and she currently has a restraining order against him. Despite this, the couple have lived together on and off. Tammy has been clinically-diagnosed PTSD due to past homelessness, and she relies on him for housing.

Tammy’s most recent suicide attempt took place in July 2018. That incident prompted an emergency room worker to refer Tammy to Great Rivers HUB, a program new to Great Rivers United Way.

Tammy was assigned a Community Health Worker (CHW), who – once Tammy was physically and mentally stable enough – began working with her to establish goals. The HUB calls them “Pathways.” Pathway completion will help Tammy get healthy and connect her to resources for continued success.

Since meeting in August of 2018, Tammy has accomplished so much via the HUB. With access to medication and therapy, Tammy’s emotional well-being is much improved. She has applied for housing, so she can be safe and regain her independence.

Tammy says that her CHW “got in [her] corner and stayed.” While the two of them will be communicating less in the future – Tammy recently ‘graduated’ into a 2-3 year stability-based program – she feels like she owes her CHW and the HUB her life.

Great Rivers HUB connects the most at-risk individuals and families with the resources they need to better their lives. To learn more, visit

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