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Addiction and homelessness can easily become generational issues, passed down from parent to child in a vicious cycle of pain and hopelessness.
As a child growing up with an addicted mother, Angelina didn’t have the kind of role model she needed to care for herself or grow into a healthy adult. Instead, she was busy taking care of everyone else. “I put off high school,” she says. “I had to take care of my grandma, brother and mom.”
Most of her time was spent with her grandma, who helped raise her as her mom spiraled deeper into drug addiction.
So when Angelina became pregnant with her son at age 19, she initially didn’t tell her mom. “I hid my pregnancy because our relationship was so rocky,” she says.
Then in one year, Angelina lost her grandma and a couple of other close relatives. But the biggest blow came when her son’s father told her he was seeing someone else — and his new girlfriend was pregnant. At the time, Angelina and her son were living with the father’s mom. And she kicked her out of the house without warning.
Fear gripped Angelina; she did not know where to turn. She worked but didn’t make enough to pay rent. And she had never had parents to teach her how to be independent and stand on her own.
But instead of heading to the streets, for the first time in her life Angelina was able to turn to her mom. By this time, her mom had gotten clean and was a new woman, having just graduated from the program at Orange County Rescue Mission. So her mom said, “What do you think about going to the Mission?” Her mom knew that Angelina would not have to turn to the streets if she got the chance to be restored and live a healthy life, like she did.
At the Mission, Angelina has earned her high school diploma — just like her mom did. Her son, Angel, is getting help for a speech delay, but he is always ready to pray during devotions! “God knew we deserved something better,” says Angelina. “God knew my son and I needed a stable place.”
As for Angelina’s relationship with her mom, Angelina says, “Before, it was up and down. After my mom came to the Mission, I didn’t have the anxiety of ‘What is my mom going to need next or whether she was going to live?’ Because of the fact that she has God in her life, she’s okay. She is now a godly woman.”
Today, her mom is successfully working a full-time job. She and a friend lead a Bible study.
“I’m most thankful for this place,” says Angelina. “It brought my mom, me, and my son to God. It made our relationship healthy.”
Angelina is also thankful to the donors for their help in transforming her life. She says, “Without you, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to graduate and be independent. Being here is helping me learn how to take care of myself. Thank you for everything.”
You gave Angelina, her son, and her mom the chance to heal and the support they needed to stand on their own two feet. Thank you for helping to end the cycle of pain, addiction and homelessness and restore three generations!