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Castanita Fitzpatrick Peer Community Organizer

Castanita Fitzpatrick

Castanita Fitzpatrick was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 21, 1969 and lived with her grandmother who tried her best to make a home for her. Castanita wanted to live with her mother, but her mother was an addict, and she ended up pushing her daughter away.

“Out on the streets I went. I became involved with drugs, prostitution and became homeless. For 31 years I traveled all over the United States living this way.”

Castanita eventually came to Dallas, Texas, where she was homeless, addicted and arrested over and over. But she encountered judges who believed in her, and she went to SAFP [a state-run substance abuse program] where a counselor helped her, and she graduated from the STACs drug court. After Castanita turned her life around, she received her Peer Recovery Support Specialist Certification and went on to get her high school diploma—not a GED—and work for Amazon.

She reunited with her mother during the last years of her mother’s life, and they shared four healthy years together. After nine years of sober living, Castanita feels a strong calling to help others  walk the reentry path that she has successfully taken. She is studying for an associates degree in Social Work, and has been doing community outreach and organizing for Texas Jail Project since the summer of 2019.