Escaping verbal and mental abuse from her father, Angela ran away from home at age 15. She dropped out of school at 16 and adopted a party lifestyle, addicted to meth, marijuana, and alcohol. Her attitude sent her to juvenile detention. Soon she began a cycle of being in and out of juvenile detention centers, group homes, and eventually jail.
She would get a job, use drugs again, lose the job and her apartment, and live with relatives or friends. In 2005, Angela met her fiancé. Today, they have three children together: ages eight, three, and one. Her fiancé is currently two years into serving a five-year prison sentence, so Angela is raising her family alone.
Angela also sold drugs, which she sees as an addiction to the fast money. Charged with possession, she ended up going to jail once again. After leaving jail, she came to Open Door Mission while her two children stayed with her brother. Her time was brief, however, as she left to live with her mother as she needed bed rest for her third pregnancy.
Her second stay at the Mission changed her life. Angela is now in the New Life Recovery Program, pursuing her GED, and watching her children flourish.
“For me, I’ve been blessed in seeing my faith in God grow extremely. In all I do I want to please my Father,” she said. “I have that fear of the Lord. The more I read the Bible, the more I change.”
Although it’s difficult balancing the day-long recovery program while caring for her children. The program has taught Angela self-discipline, time management, and obedience to God.
As Angela nears graduation, her last step will focus on finding a job. “For my family, I want my kids to see me succeed. I’m going to have a career. I’m going back to school and will strive for that career.”
When she asks her children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” she wants them to have a role model and dreams of their own careers. Angela wants to one day own a house and settle down.
Chaotic, sad, and broken is how Angela describes her life before coming to Open Door Mission. Today the word is happy. “I feel happy,” she said. “I never imagined saying that word. It’s a real happiness. It’s awkward to feel something you’ve never felt.” She’s looking forward to sitting around the table this Thanksgiving, holding hands with her children.
For those needing help from Open Door Mission, she advises taking the first step. “Right when you walk in you feel the Holy Spirit,” she said. “Have an open heart and mind. You won’t be disappointed.”