I know there are people who’ve had it rougher than me. But I’ve struggled a lot in my life. My parents were alcoholics and drug addicts, and I had two stepfathers who physically, mentally and sexually abused me.
I needed someone to love me, but no one did. I felt like a nobody and I grew up suffering with social anxiety and bipolar disorders. To meet my need for love, I latched on to older men and set out to have a child of my own. I had my first child at age 15, another at 16 and one more at 17. I dropped out of school in 8th grade to take care of my kids and never went back.
My babies’ father was a drug dealer more than twice my age, and he got me started on crack cocaine. He also continued the pattern of abuse that started with my stepfathers.
I didn’t escape drugs or the abuse until I went to prison in 2001 for first-degree robbery. In prison, I no longer had my kids. I felt desperate and I needed something to believe in, something to give me hope. That’s where God first became part of my life. And He’s been with me ever since.
After I left prison in 2006, I continued to struggle and ended up homeless in 2011. But I believe God led me to Faith Mission several years later.
From the day I got here, I could see God everywhere in this place, and Faith Mission has helped me in every way. They provided me with shelter and regular meals, clothing and hygiene products. They got me medical and dental care, mental-health care, and even new glasses. Within two weeks, they helped me find a new job and today I’m moving into my new apartment!
I feel like my lifelong struggle is finally over. And I definitely plan to come here to volunteer, because I want other people to experience the joy I’ve found.