"I found out that the woman I had been dating for five years and had a kid with cheated on me, and I handled it the wrong way. I didn’t care anymore, so I started stealing, got on drugs really bad, had a don’t-care attitude. I ended up getting in a lot of trouble, and I caught a lot of drug charges.
My friend in jail told me about Program Living. I kept doing the same things over and over then coming back to jail, and I just wanted something with structure. I was tired of getting sent to places with no structure or guidance, where it was easier to get drugs in rehab than it was outside. I knew Hope House would be better for me, since it’s a Christian program.
I’ve been in the program almost five months, and it’s been a journey for me in the short time I’ve been here. It's taken some real prayer. I have learned that I don’t need to beat myself up over things I couldn't control, that I have worth, and I am somebody. I’ve talked with Justin so much about what’s happened in my life, and my friend from Texas came all the way here to see me; it means a lot knowing I have people who fully support me.
After I graduate, I can’t wait to have stability, a good job, a car, and to take care of my daughter. I’m doing this for myself too, but it’s mainly for my daughter. She needs a good dad, someone she can rely on."
“I’ve been clean since November 15, 2007, and when I got out of prison, we decided that he had to stop drinking to help us both. He’s been sober since October 25, 2017. We found Hope House because we were looking for help with our electric bill, and that’s when I signed up for Jobs for Life.
He decided to ride with me and sit in on the class, and before it was over, he was signed up too. We realized we needed to be around positive people working toward the same goals to help us grow in our faith. Our classmates were going through difficult things too, and we could talk about it in the class. We could see we weren’t alone, and it was amazing to hear how the Bible could be applied to our lives today, not just read like a history book.
After graduation, I was trying to find work through the Goodwill SCSEP program, but I couldn’t be placed in Simpson County because of my felony. I’m so glad that we found Hope House. There’s not a whole lot that Harold can do because of his disability, so being able to just hang clothes here gives him purpose and independence.”
Harold added, “We know that it’s God who has always provided for us when we’ve been in need, whether it’s an extra job or this program. Jobs for Life gives you hope and encouragement, something you can go on. It gives you the strength just to try.”
"I grew up in a family of alcoholics and drug addicts, and I always told myself I wouldn’t be anything like them… but I turned out just like them. I’ve had an ongoing battle with drugs for years, and in 2017 I caught three different charges of possession and one charge for trafficking methamphetamine. Because of these charges, I was facing a total of seven years behind bars.
I was given the option to participate in a rehabilitation program, but I didn’t want to do just any recovery program. I had been sober for ten years after drug use in the past, so I knew my continued use wasn’t because of the drugs themselves; there was an underlying cause.
I had tried to commit suicide several times by drug overdose because I didn’t care about life anymore. I believe that God allowed me to go to jail to give me sobriety, and I was in a cell with a lot of guys who found God in jail. They influenced me a lot, and my time in jail put me on a path to finding God and better intimacy with him.
When I learned that Program Living at Hope House was focused on developing a better relationship with God, I knew that it was where I needed to be. I didn’t just need sobriety, I needed something to satisfy the underlying cause of my addiction.
After two months in the program, I decided to leave. I was allowed to come back but had to restart the program, so I’m officially one month into the program, with eleven months left. This whole experience has made me realize I can’t do anything on my own. Without God in your life, you’re truly lost. He’s the only way you’ll be able to accomplish anything that matters.
I’ve learned that nothing is finished in my time. God is still working. Since I’ve been in Program Living and truly given my life to the Lord, I wrote a letter to my ex-wife taking responsibility for my mistakes. I invited her and my son to come see me at church, but I didn’t expect it to happen anytime soon. They were there a week later. It’s nothing short of a miracle and has definitely caused my faith in the Lord to grow stronger.
I’m looking forward to simply getting back to life, having a job and a home, and building a better relationship with my children. While I’m still in the program, I hope to gain a stronger relationship with Christ and get to the point that I’m a disciple for the Lord. I want to help other people who have walked the same path as me see how great life can be when Christ is your center point."
I was homeless off and on for ten years. I had a lot of anxiety, and I couldn’t sleep without drinking. One night during the winter in 2013, I was intoxicated and fell asleep with the top of my head and my feet out of my tent. When I woke up I had frostbite, so I went to Hope House to get money for a bus ticket to the hospital in Louisville, where I’m from. I was told the frostbite was on my toes and my brain.
When you’re homeless, you start to forget about God and think of yourself as number one because you think that’s the only way to survive. That was my mentality. Four years after I met Bryan, I was sitting on a park bench, and he sat next to me and started talking about Program Living. I was 48 at the time, and I was willing to try anything to change my life.
So many people live their lives as enemies of God, but he still accepts us because of his never-ending grace. In John 20:29 Jesus says, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” Jesus’ death and resurrection happened thousands of years ago, but here we are, we haven’t seen him but still believe.
I’m looking forward to every day that will come and the next hill to climb. Now, I know that God sees everything and is in control of it all. I know I don’t have to worry anymore because he’s taking care of it all. I thank God for everything. My graduation ceremony is all for his glory.