Stories of Hope

A Heart of Thanksgiving

Sep 12, 2023 | LCRP Graduate, Stories of Hope

“I finally see myself as worthy.

Gina’s troubles started early. Growing up, she’d watched her father struggle with an addiction to alcohol, his behaviors causing trauma and hardship for her family. To escape what was happening at home, Gina started experimenting with beer when she was just a freshman in high school. “I never dealt well with my own issues, but I was great with everyone else’s,” she remembers. “I thought I was in control.”

The 30 years of drinking that followed affected all her relationships. Her breaking point was a family crisis that forced her out onto the streets. It was agonizing being separated from her loved ones… and the wakeup call she needed. “I was angry and in disbelief at myself, and I had no idea what to do.”

The shelters in nearby cities were all closed, and somehow Gina found herself on a bus to Visalia. She had no purse, no phone – just herself and the clothes on her back. “I was led here,” she says as she recounts crossing paths with a kind stranger near the Mission who told her about our programs. “God was nudging me.” “I didn’t want to go backward anymore. I wanted to go forward!”

When Gina entered the Mission seeking shelter, our staff asked her if she was ready to change her life. “I knew I couldn’t do it by myself,” she admits. She was welcomed into House of Hope, here she joined our Christ-centered classes and learned to take care of herself while in recovery. “My faith is so much stronger, and the fellowship I’ve experienced has given me support I never knew was possible.”

At the Mission, Gina has overcome her insecurities and struggles with isolation. She’s learned boundary-setting, coping skills and accountability. With full days of work training, she’s bolstered her skillset and plans to apply what she’s learned in her new life. “I finally see myself as worthy. I just wish it hadn’t taken me so long,” she smiles.

Gina is filled with thanksgiving for God’s redeeming love in her life – and your incredible generosity and support! “The Mission brought back the old me, only newer and better!”