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.
"I was in an abusive relationship for over seven years until he kicked me out of our house. For four months before there was room for me to stay at The Salvation Army, I lived in a car. It was the winter, so I would sit in grocery stores just to get warm.
When a bed opened for me to stay at the shelter, I gave the car back to my ex and was left with just the clothes on my back. There are a lot of women who have been in abusive relationships and believe it’s their fault, but finally, at 52 years old, I decided I was done.
I spent ten months at The Salvation Army, so I was homeless for over a year. In October 2017, I got a job and learned about Faith & Finances at Hope House. I would work 14 hours some nights, but I was still at Hope House for every class.
I gained so much independence through Faith & Finances and learned that I could provide for myself. I have more responsibility because it’s my paycheck, my checking account, my savings, and I keep up with everything. Even though I don’t have furniture yet, I have my own apartment, and it means the world to me to have a safe place with my own key.
I’m just glad I am where I am today. I’ve really grown through all of this, and I have a whole different outlook on life. I thank God every night before I go to bed… well, morning because I work third shift… for another day with a job and a home."
"I worked factory jobs for years, which I think caused a lot of my hearing loss now. Because of my hearing loss, I worked several temporary jobs but couldn’t find anything permanent. In 2016, I had a seizure and wrecked my vehicle, so I’ve been without transportation too.
Last year, I was unemployed and barely paying my rent. I met with Teresa at Audubon Area Community Services, and we had a conversation about God and how much I love Him. She told me, “I know exactly where you need to be,” and sent me to Hope House.
I feel like I’m in church 24/7. I have the support of Godly people in my life all the time. If it wasn’t for the people at Hope House, I don’t know what I would do. My walk with Christ is stronger than it’s been in my whole life. In anything that I struggle with, I know I can come here and find help and support.
I’ve completed Jobs for Life and Faith & Finances, and I quit smoking during Faith & Finances because I realized it was the biggest expense that I had, not to mention it was bad for my health.
Really, my living situation hasn’t changed because I’m still at the same affordable housing complex and without a car. But I know it doesn’t really matter as long as I have this job and these people in my life, and I keep my focus on Christ and my walk with him."
I was addicted to drugs for ten years and was in jail multiples times. My last time on probation, I got a new charge and was recommended for long-term treatment. I wanted to stay close to my family, so someone told me about Program Living at Hope House.
I had some health issues in 2016 when I first applied to the program, and I knew then that I needed to change so I could be there for my family and goddaughter. I had not been to church since I was a child, so I came in open-minded but unsure.
I’ve been clean for a year and two months now, and in Program Living since January. I don’t have the desire to get high anymore, which helps me stay focused on God and growing closer to him. The way I act now has changed, and when I’m having a bad day, I’ve learned to step back and examine my heart to see what’s really going on. I’m proud of the person I’m becoming.
I’m looking forward to giving back to Hope House, maybe working part-time. I know a lot of incoming Program Living men don’t have families close by, so I want to be there for them.
"I’ve been in jail six or seven times in my life, and I’ve had a drug addiction for a long time. I’d be sober for a little bit then fall back again. It’s no life to live, I know that. It’s not worth it.
I decided to join Program Living because I wasn’t there for my kids anymore, and I realized that I had a drug problem. My first day at Hope House, I got to see Charlie, Jeff, and Kevin graduate at Cooking for Hope. I didn’t really think there would be so many people supporting this program, but when I looked around, I realized there were hundreds.
I’ve only been here one month, but I’m not experiencing the everyday struggle with wanting to get high. I feel like this has taken that urge away from me, and I’m coming closer to God. Just because you take away addiction, doesn’t mean you’re healed. You have to have God, too.
I’m looking forward to drawing closer to Jesus, being a better dad, a better person in general, and using all the skills I’m learning here when I graduate. I’d like to do something like auto body or be a mechanic when I graduate, so I can race go-karts with my boys and build the motors for them."