Sunni knows what it’s like to be homeless.
When she was smoking meth, she bounced from one cheap motel to another. When the money ran out, she would walk all night because “it was safer to keep moving than to stay in one place.” Occasionally, she remembers finding an out-of-the- way stairwell that she’d curl up under to grab a few winks. But for the most part, her secret to survival was forcing herself to stay up and, “even when I was really tired.”
When you’re living on the streets, everything is difficult: where to sleep, where to clean up, where you have given them security to find your next meal. Sometimes, you’d go to a friend’s house for a quick meal, until that got old. Then maybe rustle up a few coins and slip into a fast food restaurant to buy something off the dollar menu. Or, if things got really desperate, grab one of those deli made chicken dinners from the local supermarket and just walk out the door without paying for it (which, thankfully, didn’t happen very often).
“During that period, I was so angry at God,” Sunni remembers. “I didn’t understand what I had done to make my life so messed up.” Yes, she had made the decision to first use meth, mostly to numb the feeling of rejection after she was booted out of her parents’ house. And yes, she got married and divorced after her husband decided he loved the money that comes from selling drugs more than he loved her.
But now she had a young daughter to care for, a child who became the reason behind her desperate search for recovery. That’s how she ended up at the Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope. Did that change her life? Man, did it ever! First, she went back to school and completed 19 units at Irvine Valley College in 4 months-graduating with a 3.7 grade point average (after getting D’s and F’s when she was growing up). After that, she went through our job readiness workshop, which not only taught her how to get a good job, but also how to keep it.
“I feel like I now have a chance,” she says. “I’m sober, I have my daughter, and the Rescue Mission is providing me with everything I need to get back on my feet.”
Even more important, God has gone from being her adversary to being her friend. “My old life- the addiction, the homelessness I’ve learned it wasn’t God’s fault. I’m now taking responsibility for my actions,” she adds. The Rescue Mission is a place where people are transformed … where they learn to put their pasts behind them on the way to a brand-new life.
That’s what’s happening to Sunni, and dozens of others, because of your generous support.
Thank you for your generous gifts to this ministry. And helping to change the heart of our
community, one precious life at a time!