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Theresa's Story



Theresa’s darkest hour gave way to hope —and YOU gave her a chance for a new life!

Trapped in an abusive relationship and enslaved to drugs, Theresa felt powerless to break the chains binding her to destruction and defeat.

These chains were forged in her childhood. Her mom was addicted to heroin — and by the time she was in 8th grade,Theresa was, too.

For a time, Theresa broke away from the drugs. Love for her daughter compelled her to try to be a mother. Theresa even took on the responsibility of raising her nieces.

“I was living off shoplifting. For food, for everything, just to survive and live on the streets.”

Caring for children alone meant Theresa sometimes had to stay home from work. Eventually, she lost her job. When the stress of single parenting and poverty became too much to bear, Theresa turned back to her old habits — and her boyfriend — to find relief.

Theresa was caught shoplifting and lost custody of not only her nieces, but her daughter Kyley as well.

Losing her daughter devastated Theresa.

Instead of turning Theresa’s life around, losing Kyley sent her into a spiral of self-destruction. Theresa and her boyfriend lived on the streets, shoplifting for food and for drug money, staying in hotels when they had enough to do so. Worse, Theresa’s boyfriend beat her.

Last Christmas, Theresa had finally had enough. “I hated my life,” she says. “I had lost myself. I was absolutely miserable.”

Shoplifting one last time, Theresa got her way out. “The police coming to arrest me actually saved me,” says Theresa. “Jail was the best thing that’s happened to me.”

Theresa was relieved to be locked up.

Sentenced to 4 months in jail and 3 years probation, she prayed it would be long enough that her boyfriend would lose interest. He did.

Behind bars, Theresa heard the Good News that Jesus Christ died to pay all debts and conquered death when He was raised to life again. Set free from the chains of addiction, Theresa was released from prison on Easter last year. Clean and sober and ready for a new life, Theresa searched for a place to start over. A place where she could try again to be the mom her daughter needs. A place where she could break the generational cycle of addiction and give her daughter a better life. Through a mentor, Theresa found the Orange County Rescue Mission.

Your partnership means new life for Theresa.

At the Rescue Mission, she got fully involved in recovery groups and classes to help her start fresh. After 9 months in the program, Theresa is a transformed woman. “I am a new creation in Christ. I know my past doesn’t define me.”

Now, Theresa is giving her daughter hope. She has passed on her faith in Christ and Kyley was recently baptized, too. Theresa’s message to you this Easter is full of gratitude. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to have a second chance to rebuild my life and pick up the pieces with my daughter.”


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