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You might be down to your last dime, but you still have to eat. That’s where Ericka found herself the day she walked into a neighborhood supermarket and walked out a half-hour later with a shopping cart full of food — without paying for any of it. “Sure I was scared, but I needed something to eat,” she recalls. “I felt so guilty while I was doing it . . . I never did it again.”

Ericka’s problems began long before she ended up on the streets. Molested when she was a child, Ericka began running away at age 10. She quickly became street-savvy, but how much should one person have to endure to survive? Stealing. Lying. That’s what homelessness does —it forces you to do things you could never imagine yourself doing.

All she knew was that living on the beach (and having a homeless beggar once offer HER money!) was not the way she envisioned her future. “God, there’s gotta be something more,” she cried out. “This cannot be my life!”

And then along came the Rescue Mission. Thanks to your generous gifts, Ericka has discovered God’s unfailing love for her — and it’s given her a whole new perspective on life. “Since I started doing things the right way, so many doors have opened for me,” she says. “God has given me chance after chance. Now I’m finally on the right path. It’s just taken me 36 years to get here.” Lasting life-change is possible, but only if God is at the center of it. That’s what your gifts do — move people out of darkness into a new life filled with promise and purpose.

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