“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.
"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."