Longtime St. Francis House guest Murielle Cadet found sobriety, stability, and housing in the last two years. While she works as a test center administrator, she remains committed to advocating for the needs of people who are still experiencing homelessness by serving on Boston’s BACHome Council. Throughout this work, she keeps in mind the important connections and friendships she made while she experienced homelessness herself.
“I know it’s going to help a lot of my family and friends that I have out there. When I was homeless, I didn’t just consider them as homeless individuals, I had a street family. Even though I’m housed now I still consider them a part of me,” Cadet said.
Meeting twice a month in City Hall, the BACHome council is made up of people with lived experience of homelessness in Boston who “help advise the Mayor’s Office to help shape Boston’s system of care for the homeless,” according to the City of Boston website.
For Cadet, serving on the council has been an eye opening an empowering experience.
“I read and learned so much about different organizations that I would see and hear from when I was on the street… Being a part of this committee, we helped split the money so different organizations can have access to it. It made my heart feel pure happiness because there’s a lot of us that need it out there,” she said.
Cadet has served on the BACHome council since November 2021, when she was unanimously voted on by other council members. She believes that elevating the voices of people with lived experience with homelessness and addiction is an important part of advocating for those who are still working through those struggles today. Her experiences come with valuable knowledge of the resources and support people need to find stability.
“I can tell you the good and I can tell you the bad… Me having lived experience gives me a little more understanding of the thought process of someone who is still actively homeless or using alcohol and drugs,” she said.
As Murielle approaches two years of sobriety, she says she is thankful for Karen, Neysa, Sonya and all St. Francis House staff who supported her while she experienced homelessness for 13 years. She is especially thankful to Briana Schissler, who she says was a “guardian angel” during that time.
“They have always been my number one supporters, especially through my recovery. [St. Francis House has] been a safe haven for me,” she said.
On top of her recent accomplishments—recovery, finding housing, gaining employment, receiving a promotion, and dedicating time to advocacy— Cadet is ambitious about the impact she will have in the future, saying, “I’m starting off with the BACHome Council and there’s more of me to come!”