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Fourteen-year-old Kara idolized her neighbor — she was beautiful, thin and the coolest mom around. But the secret to her neighbor’s inspiring weight loss and spunk turned out to be speed — an addictive poison that enslaved Kara and eventually left her homeless, hungry and in terrible danger. Kara’s life quickly filled with dangerous choices: abusive relationships, running away, more drugs, arrests, evading arrest . . . and jail. Attempts at sobriety didn’t last long.
Eventually, Kara had nowhere to go but the streets — a nightmare for a young woman. She slept at the train station, in strangers’ hotel rooms, and drowned her fear and hunger in meth to do what she felt she had to do to survive. But even in her drugged state, Kara finally realized she was in danger, and she became desperate to find a safe place to sleep. “I was wide awake and terrified for days.”
“I went to the mental hospital and told them I was suicidal, so I could have a place to stay and be sober,” says Kara. But the refuge was temporary.
When Kara was released back to the streets, her body gave out — the drugs had taken their toll. Sleepless and dehydrated, Kara finally broke down and turned to her family for help. “I called my mom and told her if she didn’t help me, I was going to die on the streets,” she remembers.
A family friend of Kara’s mom helped get her admitted into a drug rehab program where she was reunited with her 3-year-old son, Eli. When she graduated, Kara and Eli entered the Rescue Mission to begin rebuilding their lives.
Kara recently completed her first 90 days in our program. She’s breaking free from her old habits and diligently replacing them with new, healthy ones. Her days are structured around working in the Rescue Mission’s kitchen, growing stronger in her walk with God, counseling and classes, and learning how to be a better mom for her little boy.


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