Kelly never got the chance to be a child. Her mother was addicted to drugs, her father absent and strict, which meant that she was vulnerable to abuse – emotional, mental, and physical. At 15, Kelly was kicked out onto the street after a falling out with her mother. The years of running the streets that followed are now a blur.
“I dropped out of school, hung out in the park during the day, and couch surfed at night. But whenever I couldn’t find a place to stay, I would sleep on a park bench. It got so cold some nights.”
Addiction to marijuana and meth overtook Kelly’s life as she had run ins with gangs and was in and out of jail. Things began to change, though, when Kelly had her son. He moved into Kelly’s brother’s custody by Child Protective Services, but Kelly had to get him back.
After trying a couple of programs, Kelly finally gave the New Life Recovery Program at Open Door Mission her all. The program was intimidating – especially the requirement to give up smoking – but she knew the Bible based material and the longer program structure were what she needed.
Two weeks into her recovery, Kelly accepted Christ into her life, and she’s been changing to look more like Him every day since. Three months into her recovery, Kelly got her son back. “It was hard to learn how to parent a two-year-old, but the staff here really helped me…It was so good to be with my son again.”
Today, Kelly is ten months sober. She has her GED, graduated from the New Life Recovery Program, and has many job opportunities open to her. Classes start at a local college soon, where Kelly will study certified electronic health records.
“I spent nine months in the program,” said Kelly. “That’s a lot. But it was the time I needed to grow. Without that time and structure, I wouldn’t be who I am today.”
Kelly has been saving her money to purchase a home for her and her son, and will be moving soon. “I’m breaking the cycle here – it ends with me. I don’t want to live the way I learned. I’ve learned how to forgive and I’m proud to have achieved what my mom couldn’t. I’m giving my son the home I never had.”
Thank you for allowing homeless mothers like Kelly a chance to break the cycle of homelessness in their families as well as a fresh start as a mother.
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