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For the past eight years, Lakeisha had been her mom’s sole caregiver, which had not been easy. Her mom was unpleasant and difficult to live with, and Lakeisha bore the brunt of her mom’s harsh words and overbearing nature day in and day out. Living on only her mother’s social security income, there were many days when there was barely enough food to get by. Lakeisha was worn down. She didn’t even know what she was good at, or how to stand on her own.

But as 2015 was coming to a close, and the optimism and adrenaline of an approaching new year gave her hope, Lakeisha was feeling optimistic about her future. She was determined to get her high school diploma, get a job and find someone to take care of her mom. Lakeisha was determined to make the new year “her year”.

And then Lakeisha received the eviction notice that gave Lakeisha and her mom just weeks to move out. Just like that, all of Lakeisha’s hopes and dreams came crashing down, replaced only with fear for the future.

“I felt devastated. I didn’t have resources,” Lakeisha says.

With days left before they had to move out and with no income of her own, Lakeisha called different shelters and heard about Orange County Rescue Mission. Then she went to a support group and a man there told her about the Mission. To Lakeisha, it felt like God was telling her to come to the Rescue Mission.

The first day she checked in, she cried. Her mom had gone to live with a relative and for the first time, she was truly on her own.

“It felt strange being at the Mission,” Lakeisha says. “I have a place to live. I have three square meals a day. I had to get my bearings.”

At the Rescue Mission, Lakeisha was provided with the resources she needed not only to survive, but to thrive. She has now been given the chance to stretch her wings and find out what she is capable of. She has discovered she is made of much more than she thought she was, that she has value and worth, that she can stand on her own, and that she can be an asset to an employer. She even received her high school diploma and was valedictorian of her class!

Today, her hopes and dreams for the future are renewed. “When I graduate from the Mission, I will be self-sufficient,” Lakeisha says with newfound confidence.

Your gifts help men and women like Lakeisha start on the path to a new life. Thank you for giving Lakeisha a chance to stand on her own!

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