Arleney Jane's Story
Psychotherapist, Registered Social Worker
Academic, Rebel Girl, Mama, Leo, Therapist, Confidence Coach and Boss Babe
Master of Public Policy, Admin & Law, B.A., Certified Professional Coach
ICF ACC OCSWSSW OAMHP
For most of my life, I was simply surviving, constantly in fight or flight mode. There were many times I didn't know where I was going to sleep at night or even where I was going to get my next meal. I spent many cold winter nights sleeping over subway grates to keep myself warm. At times I questioned if I was going to live to see adulthood, as many of my close friends didn’t have the opportunity. I truly never imagined that I would be where I am today.
In 2003, I entered academia attempting to break generational barriers to education. During this time my reality was shook by losing one of the most important people to me- my father, who died from an opioid overdose. The following year was much of a blur as I began to use chaotically and lost any hope for life after witnessing so much loss. In my final year of my undergrad, I became pregnant and this was the exact moment that everything shifted for me. Life handed a defining moment that saved my life. At 8 months pregnant, I earned a B.A. in Political Science, graduating on the Dean’s Honour List.
After my daughter’s birth, I dedicated my efforts to working with people who were living a life I was very intimate with by providing frontline counselling, support services, harm reduction, and advocacy, working alongside my community; sex workers; people with a history of homelessness; people who use drugs; and those who have been impacted by the prison system.
In 2016, I was awarded a Toronto Vital People Award for this work and my ongoing efforts to challenge harmful drug policies and anti-sex work laws. In 2015, I received a Master's in Public Policy, Admin and Law where I completed my thesis Remembering Bedford, which was grounded in community-based research on the impact of sex work criminalization on street-based sex workers in Canada. This research was published in the international journal Sex Work and has been referenced in MacLean’s, NOW magazine, and legal hearings concerning criminalization.
In 2017, I was awarded an Alumni Achievement Award from Algoma University for my activism and continued efforts for sex workers' and drug users' rights.
Since then, I decided to leave front-line work to focus on my own personal development and transition to my own private practice; where I authentically continue to apply my passion and skills and my wealth of experiences, knowledge and expertise through my therapy, coaching, consulting practice: Hustle Heal Motivate.
Master of Political Policy Administration & Law (2015) York University
Community Economics and Social Development Certificate (2007)
Bachelor of Arts Political Science (2007) Laurentian University