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Roxanne’s Story: From Relapse and Heartbreak to Empowering Others

Roxanne’s Story: From Relapse and Heartbreak to Empowering Others

In July 2020, Roxanne Britt got an unexpected phone call.

Jennifer Pankey, Solutions for Change Workforce Director, was on the other end with an interesting offer.

“She asked if I wanted to become an Empowerment Coach,” Roxanne said. “I had to think about it for a while, because I would have to leave a job I was comfortable with, but I knew this was a leap worth taking.”

Roxanne had worked as a manager at Walmart for years, running the customer service desk. She had lots of experience helping others solve problems, but Walmart customer service was becoming a thankless job that weighed on her. Uplifting others as an Empowerment Coach seemed like a worthwhile new challenge.

“I was ready to take all of my customer service experience and put it toward something that changes peoples’ lives,” Roxanne said. “No more bitterness—and a brighter future.”


Five years earlier, in 2015, Roxanne had relapsed after 10 years of sobriety and returned to a life of addiction, homelessness and heartbreak. She was back in the Churn of dependency and pain.

Roxanne and her husband were living an unsustainable life—for themselves and for their children. The final straw was when child protective services revoked the custody of their son, who was 12 years old at the time.

After that, Roxanne was determined to do everything she could to get her son back, but she didn’t know where to start. Fortunately, a family member offered a suggestion: Go to Solutions for Change.

Even though Roxanne was interested in pursuing Solutions, her husband had hesitations. He didn’t want to exchange his familiar job for an unfamiliar and uncertain environment.

“I told my husband we couldn’t keep doing things like break into hotel rooms to find a place to sleep,” Roxanne said. “We were too grown for all of this. We had to change for our son.”

In June 2017, Roxanne and her husband entered Solutions Academy. Each morning, they would meet with the other Solutions residents to discuss servant leadership, attend classes, receive counseling and empowerment. They would then spend the day working at Solutions Farms or doing workforce development throughout the Solutions housing complexes. At every step in their two-year journey, their Empowerment Coach was there providing guidance, inspiration, and straight talking.

“I learned a lot during that time. I got more confident suiting up and showing up, and my Empowerment Coach helped me realize some important truths,” Roxanne said. “She taught me how to break old habits and mindsets to change into something better. She taught me the value of prioritizing myself. It took so long to learn that I can only care for others if I’m caring for myself.”

Seven months into their time at Solutions Academy, Roxanne and her husband regained custody of their son. 


Roxanne is Solutions for Change’s newest Empowerment Coach—guiding others along the path she once walked. Her first week on the job was in October 2020, and she brings endless charisma and friendliness to her clients, plus a new sense of purpose and caring.

“It’s so rewarding to just listen and be supportive of my clients,” Roxanne said. “I feel like I’ve come full circle, and now I get to be the one helping people who are ready to change their life.”

Support Solutions Overcomers like Roxanne here.