"I felt pretty lonely," Jennifer says of her childhood. From the age of 10, she stayed in group homes or with foster parents, often running away and hanging out on the street. "I always seemed to be attracted to bad people. I did what they did--smoking weed and drinking. They felt like a family to me, because I was accepted."
At 18, Jennifer started a family of her own. She gave birth to a daughter, now 22, and later had another daughter, now 17, and a son, who is five. "I was not the best mom," she admits. "I had trouble connecting with my kids. I was in and out of treatment centers for my drug addiction. But I did the best I could, given how I grew up myself."
Jennifer's best, though wasn't enough to keep her family together. Every cent she had went toward her drug addiction. Eventually, she was homeless, camping out in the woods.
After three years of rough living, Jennifer finally had enough. It was time for real change. She looked for a long-term treatment center and found Hope Gospel Mission.
Her first day in the program, she says, was scary. "I didn't know what kind of feelings were going to come up, not being sober for so many years. I didn't know if I would be accepted." But she soon made friends among her fellow residents and found the staff to be warm and caring...like a real family.
Jennifer also rekindled her relationship with God. "When I was 17, I was really into the Bible," she tells us. "Once I started using meth, I didn't care anymore. But when I came into the program, I realized God had never left me." Today, Jennifer has a home church and was recently baptized.
Looking beyond graduation, Jennifer plans to enter our Discipleship Program. She is also mending her relationship with her daughters and seeking custody of her five-year-old son.
Jennifer offers "a big thank you" to everyone who supports Hope Gospel Mission - including you! "I'm thankful there are people who care about what happens to me!"