By: Annette Espinoza
When the move from Chicago to New Jersey brought unexpected hardships, hindering her musical talents and expression, HomeFront New Jersey in Lawrenceville helped Jamie C. rewrite the lyrics and find her voice again.
Three years ago, Jamie made the move to New Jersey, but unforeseen circumstances put her in a challenging and unstable situation. Six months ago, these trying times brought Jamie to HomeFront, where she learned how to channel her frustration into inspiring works of art. There, she found a strong support system that motivated her to pursue her goals. “It is not always an easy road, especially when you are alone. But HomeFront never made me feel hopeless,” Jamie said.
Jamie credits HomeFront and it’s incredible staff for opening her eyes to what she is truly capable of achieving. With an extensive background in music including experience co-writing songs, participating in church choirs with Shirley Caesar, and singing backup for R. Kelly, HomeFront gave Jamie access to singing lessons and similar training opportunities to get her back on the stage.
“They made me feel like a superstar,” Jamie said.
Despite Jamie’s extensive musical background, regaining her voice did not come easily. Jamie recalls feeling restless and uneasy before her artistic breakthrough. To assuage these emotions, she became involved with the ArtSpace art therapy program at HomeFront’s Family Campus in Ewing.
“I began painting music. The first piece I painted and sold was of a set of piano keys,” Jamie explained.
But even after this, Jamie continued to struggle. She was frustrated with her “rusty” vocal cords and an inability to sing songs the way she once had. Once again, in a dark and desolate place, Jamie reached out to HomeFront where Director Ruthann Traylor provided her reassurance and motivated her to persevere in the face of such temporary adversities. Jamie credits Traylor for much of her success today. As she began battling PTSD, depression, anxiety and bordeline personal disorder, Traylor went beyond her role at HomeFront, driving Jamie to therapy sessions.
Several months removed from all this, Jamie has recently moved into her own apartment. She is grateful to HomeFront for the skills she learned there and the invaluable support system that continues to guide her through the obstacles in her life.
With the support of organizations like HomeFront and individuals like Traylor on her side, Jamie is set on reaching red carpet goals: independence and financial stability, a healthy and sustainable relationship with her mental health, and an impact on the stage. As she moves forward, Jamie hopes to give back to those who gave so much to her.
“My life experiences are not for me. They are for others who are going through and need to move past similar experiences,” said Jamie.