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For so many, homelessness seems like an impossible reality until they are faced with impossible circumstances: a sudden loss of a loved one or a job, a growing mountain of debt that seems insurmountable, or an unforeseen crisis. This was how it was for Gina.
There was a time when Gina worked in reception, customer service and at a warehouse job. But that was before her husband died, and before she needed drugs to get up every morning.
Gina began to hate her life. Her deep-rooted insecurities were numbed by drug use that became a drug addiction. Without a paycheck, she and her three children were moving from motel to motel and couch to couch. They found themselves sleeping in a house infested with rats and roaches. Enough is enough, she told herself.
“I started to pray that the Lord would provide a place for me and my children to get a shower and eat,” Gina recalls. “I was invited to church with my sister and started praying every minute of every day, and listening more to God’s word.
“It was then that God led me to Corona Norco Rescue Mission, and my life has since been changed,” she says. “Not only do my children and I have our own beds, we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and have a warm shower every night.”
During her time at Corona Norco Rescue Mission, Gina began regaining her sense of self-worth, working as a barista at Restoration Roasters where she learned to make flawless beverages, competently work the cash register and provide stellar customer service. “It got me up every day, knowing that I had to be there,” she says. “The work helped me develop good customer service skills, and I liked working there because the atmosphere is clear and calm.”
She also found the courage to return to school to earn her high school equivalency, which is one of the steps to becoming fully self-sufficient, along with her work experience at Restoration Roasters. “I’m in the process of restoring my life,” she says proudly. “Thank You, Jesus, I owe it all to You.” Gina credits her case manager, who prays with her as she starts her day, for her newfound confidence in the workplace.
With her work experience at Restoration Roasters and her completed high school credits, Gina had better job opportunities available to her when it became time to go back to work. She quickly found employment and is now working full-time to support herself and her children. She will be graduating the program this upcoming March and plans to transition from the program as the next step to self-sufficiency!
Gina is one of many amazing stories of God’s grace and redemption at work in the lives of individuals who never thought they could end up homeless. Just as He continues to love and care for the Least, the Last, and the Lost, we follow in His footsteps and do the same. I thank you for your support which makes this possible! Thank you for giving families like Gina’s a chance at a new life and a fresh start!