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Drugs took Miguel and Desarae down paths that led to dead ends – until the Lord led them to Orange County Rescue Mission where they found hope in Christ that restored and transformed their family.
One joyfully bright spot over the course of Miguel and Desarae’s 14 year relationship was the birth of their son. But there was darkness too – addiction controlled both Miguel’s and Desarae’s life, and they struggled to find stability.
Both had been exposed to drugs from an early age. Miguel remembers his uncles blowing marijuana smoke in his face when he was as young as four years old. Desarae’s parents were only fifteen years old when she was born, and they, too, struggled with their own addictions.
Now, drugs were threatening to tear Miguel and Desarae’s small family apart.
At one point, Desarae was homeless, living in the riverbed and deep in her addiction. Their son was living with Desarae’s mom to be sure that he had his needs met.
Miguel was also heavily into his addiction. One day, he was pulled over by the police with drugs — and his son — in the car. He was led away in handcuffs and taken to jail.
But what he remembers most is, “They had to take my son away from me. I didn’t know where he was. It devastated me.” Miguel knew then that he had to make a change.
Still homeless and with Miguel in prison, Desarae reached rock bottom.
“I finally broke down,” she shares. “I didn’t want my son to grow up hating me…I wanted to be a normal family.”
When Miguel got out of jail, Desarae told him about Orange County Rescue Mission, and soon, the whole family was at the Village of Hope.
Today, both Miguel and Desarae are clean and thankful to be together as a family. While at the Rescue Mission, they also welcomed a baby girl. Desarae worked hard, even while pregnant, and got her GED, as did Miguel. And their son has worked hard to get caught up in school as well.
“I’ve become someone dependable today,” Miguel says. “We both struggled through school. We both got our GEDs since we’ve been here. We’ve accomplished a lot of goals.”
Miguel currently works with the Rescue Mission outreach team, going to shelters and camps. He loves praying with people — because it was God who changed his life. And that kind of change is lasting.
“Without God, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today. He helps me to be a good husband and father,” Miguel says.
Desarae still remembers what it felt like to be homeless and is grateful for the smallest things. “When people come from having nothing, every little thing counts,” she says. “A piece of clothing or even a little bottle of shampoo can mean so much.”
To the donors, Miguel says, “Thank you for all the support. It’s a tough program, but it’s worth it.” Because of donors’ support and generosity, this precious family got the chance to start again!
To learn more about homeless families and individuals restored to a new life, go to RescueMission.org/stories/.