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“I Know There’s a Better Life Than This.” Homeless. On the run. One family’s story of survival on the streets.

Michelle will never forget her most hopeless days on the streets. Living in a tiny camper, jammed with everything they owned, she, her husband and her young son would flee from city to city, looking for a place to park for a few days. Until they were chased off again.

“It was so cramped in there,” Michelle remembers. “And we were so afraid of losing our son. We lived in that camper for two years because we couldn’t afford anything else.”

A lifetime of hurt and disappointment led Michelle to living in that camper. “Coming out of a past broken marriage, my life just fell apart,” Michelle remembers. “There was a lot of pain.” Michelle turned to drugs and alcohol for comfort. But instead was sucked into the black hole of addiction. 20 years of her life were wasted on drugs.

But one day, Michelle had an experience that she’ll never forget. “I remember walking back to the camper one day, crying, and crying out to God. I called out ‘I know there’s a better life than this!’ I walked into the camper and told my husband: ‘We need help.'” That day, Michelle called the Orange County Rescue Mission. And everything changed!

“A girlfriend of mine told me about the Mission,” Michelle recalls. “But God brought us here.” Once, Michelle could only see to the next high, or the next moment. Nothing beyond. Today, she’s working hard to secure a future for her son and her family.

“I’m free from addiction,” Michelle says with a smile. “I’ve gone back to school. I have a relationship with God for the first time in my life. “I’m just now starting my life. There’s a weight, a burden off my shoulders. Now I know there’s a future!”

You make a future possible for men, women and children from all over Orange County every time you give to the Mission! This fall, thousands will come to us hungry, hurting and hopeless. With your support, we’ll serve every one in the name of Jesus Christ. Thank you!

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