“I had no foundation for my life.”
With those words, Denise sums up her 30-year struggle to find direction, peace, and stability. It wasn’t until she came to the Rescue Mission — and experienced genuine transformation through your generosity and the grace of God — that Denise finally realized what was missing from her life.
Denise’s mother left her and her three siblings when Denise was young. Her dad was not involved with the family. From age 8 to 18, Denise lived in a variety of foster and group homes. She always ran away. “I was angry at God, at myself, at my mother,” she says. “I prayed, asking God to bring my mother back to me.” But she never came back. From age 13, drug use, gangs, and rebellion marked her life. She was often homeless, sleeping in garages, alleys, anywhere she could find a place to stay. “I didn’t care,” she says. By the time she was 18, Denise thought she was getting her life together. But abusive relationships, bad decisions, and a pregnancy derailed her attempts to get on track. “I really didn’t have a foundation yet,” she says.
For seven more draining years, Denise tried and failed to change. Then God intervened. She decided to enter a rehab program, get sober, and come to the Rescue Mission. “I knew I needed more,” she says. “God was missing.” Once at our Village of Hope, Denise dived in. She earned her high school diploma, trained for work that will pay her a living wage, and took advantage of the emphasis on faith that drives all we do. “I had a lot of support,” Denise confirms. “The growth in my life is from God.” What’s more, Denise’s kids are with her. They’re part of our “hybrid” education program that allows children to learn online using a computer and in the classroom. Even during the pandemic lockdown, her children continued to thrive.
Looking ahead, Denise hopes to graduate soon and continue building on her new foundation. With that has come a fresh perspective. “I always felt I was dealt a bad hand,” she says. But now she knows it wasn’t about God letting her down. “I just never saw that he was there for me.” To you, she says, “This program is like no other. It has saved my life. I don’t think I could have done it without the Rescue Mission and God. I want to say thank you for everything.”