“I was a nurse…..and an addict” Shannon quietly confesses. Making eye contact she states with conviction, “I am more than a mom, a woman, a former addict and a nurse. I am the daughter of the King!”
Years of addiction to pain medication, jail time and in and out of rehab centers, Shannon is currently three years sober. “EVERYTHING” she shouts out when asked what New Life Mission means to her. The life skills classes have taught her how to parent her son. The financial classes have taught her how to budget, paying for car repairs with a savings account. “I never even knew how to save before!”
“Five years from now?” Shannon repeats back when asked where she sees herself in the future. “Being a homeowner, a nurse again and raising my son! God brought me this far…he’s got plans for me!”
Jessica and her son Michael arrived on Valentine’s Day to a bouquet of flowers on her own table at our Casa Carol Campus and a welcome card from the church. “It was a love note from God that day,” she shyly remembers. “I knew everything after that was going to be okay.”
“I should be dead,” Jessica says, as she gently nods her head back and forth remembering her past. Knowing how blessed she is to be alive, to get clean, stay sober and to live off the streets and out of jail, is never far from her mind. “Without this place, I’d be just lost moving from shelter to shelter. Now I have a place I love, I have the strongest relationship with God I have ever had and I have a future for my son and me.”
Jade’s Story (child of graduate)
Arriving with her family in 2012, Jade’s mom needed help. Fleeing an abusive situation, with nowhere to go, the family arrived at Casa Carol overwhelmed, exhausted and in need of rest. “I got baptized when I was a part of New Life Mission. Knowing my mom was being so strong in her faith, I wanted to be a part of the journey! I know HIS LOVE will always be there for me!”
Jade, a high school student at the time, studied hard with volunteers for her SAT exam. Having discovered an artisitic interest, she even was able to attend an art camp (she painted the mural at Casa Carol in the picture).
“During this time at New Life Mission, I learned the importance of insurance and health care. So now I am working on my masters degree in healthcare administration. It’s so important for me to give back. Great people helped us. I want to be able to help other people as well. My goal is to go further! I want to become a nurse practitioner.”
“Sarah” lived in 33 foster homes and two emergency shelters as a child. Soon after giving birth to her 3rd child, Sarah and her family had no place to live until she found New Life Mission.
“With everyone’s help here at New Life Mission, I was able to take it step-by-step, one day at a time, and make it to the finish line. I am now a licensed massage therapist!” said Sarah. “When you finish something you’ve envisioned finishing for a long time, it really opens doors. Your courage, your self-esteem… you just glow inside. Now I feel like I can conquer anything!”
“Chloe” shared her testimony at the 2017 Impact 100 Partner event, explaining how she found New Life Mission. ‘”I was 8-months pregnant and sleeping on the street,” says Chole. “Being pregnant and homeless is when I had hit rock bottom. I got on my knees and called out to God to put people in my path to help me because I couldn’t do this alone anymore.”
She teared up when looking around the room and said, “Now I know that it was New Life Mission people that God placed in my path… it was each one of you!”
In need of a safe place to land with her son, Jeni came to New Life Mission thinking she wouldn’t stay long. “I was expecting to leave in a few months. Little did I know, that was not God’s plan. He had something much greater in store for me.”
Year of struggle never allowed any time for dreaming. With encouragement from staff and volunteers, Jeni discovered her passion. “Going back to school as a 35-year-old working mother was a huge challenge. The first few weeks were overwhelming, but I was able to get through with plenty of prayer and support from friends, family, and NLM staff,” Jeni said.
In May 2021, Jeni proudly completed the EMT Program. Upon completion of the program, she also passed her NREMT (National Registry for Emergency Medical Technicians) exam and received her NREMT certificate.
“Rachel” called New Life Mission after a friend decided she and her children could no longer stay in the apartment they shared. She wanted to make positive changes in her life and move forward toward living independently with her children.
From the moment she attended New life Mission, Rachel was adamant about obtaining her GED and gaining full-time employment. Today she has accomplished and surpassed both of those goals.
“I passed my GED with hard work and by never giving up,” said Rachel. “I have gotten more support from the women and staff here at New Life Mission than I have received my whole life. I’m setting an example for my kids to never give up no matter how old you are. With love and God in your life, you can do anything as long as you believe in yourself.”
When “Kathy” was accepted into New Life Mission, having a place to live led to being reunited with her 8-year-old son after two years apart. Financial difficulties combined with Kathy’s health condition had rendered them homeless two years prior as they lived in their car. Without access to needed medication, she was hospitalized, and her son was placed in foster care.
After she was released from the hospital, she struggled to maintain her health so she could afford stable housing, which was a condition of reunification. The foster care oversight team shared that her acceptance into the New Life Mission program was a key factor in their decision to move forward with reunification.
Kathy now has stable housing and case management resources to help her meet financial, educational, employment, and health-related goals. My son and I are very excited,” Kathy said. “I can now plan a future with him!”