"As a child, I was mentally and physically abused. I was full of fear and never felt like I was living up to what other people wanted me to be. I found alcohol and drugs and thought they were the solution to my problems, but that solution turned into the problem. Since then, I’ve been in and out of jail, psych wards, and recovery centers. I was introduced to recovery in 2009, and I started to seek the Lord and get involved at church. I even started to teach at a rehab and stayed sober for over three years.
In that time, my son died because of alcoholism, and two of my friends committed suicide because of alcoholism. I blamed it all on God. That became my excuse to be vengeful toward God, and I started drinking and using drugs again. I was slowly killing myself. Looking back, it was the best thing that happened to me because I got so low that I finally reached out to God again. I was admitted into a detox facility in Frankfort, and I started asking God for guidance.
I was referred to another treatment center in Bowling Green. When it was time for my discharge, my case worker gave me a list of sober living houses, but they all required a bunch of money to walk through the door. I told her I didn’t have any money and didn’t know what else to do. She gave me another list, and Hope House was on that list. Praise God. I called and told Jon my story, said I really needed some structure, but I wouldn’t have any money until a certain date. He said, 'Can you be here at noon tomorrow?' I knew right away that this is where the Creator wanted me to be.
I’ve been here five months, and I’ve found a church home at Christ Fellowship. I’ve found structure, and I was even hired as a transportation associate to help with the Ready to Work Shuttle. Now, I’m a manager at the Sober Living house, too. It’s amazing to look at where I came from. Sometimes it’s unbelievable. But with God, all things are possible. Now I’m free from trying to please other people, and I want to keep strengthening my relationship with the Lord."
"Before I came to Hope House, I didn’t have any direction in my life. I was a really angry person, and even worse, I was very close-minded. I had made a lot of mistakes in life out of misplaced loyalty, anger, reckless decisions, and I had no control over my life whatsoever. I started looking for places where I could get the help I needed to change.
Repeatedly, I was told by the people I trusted that they didn’t know what to do or that it wasn’t their job to help me. Things went so far that I ended up in jail, and that’s where I met Jon Calloway, Program Living Director at Hope House. I remember explaining that I had reached out to people and was consistently told that they couldn’t do anything to help me. I told him that I couldn’t take one more person saying it wasn’t their job to help me. He responded, “It is explicitly my job to help you,” and that’s exactly what he did.
Being shown a lot of direction from the Bible was a big part of what gave me enough peace to start putting things back together, realizing that I could take things one step at a time. There was a better way than doing everything on my own. In the past year, I’ve spent as much time as I possibly could in Bible study, and I became a Christian. I’ve been able to foster connections with people at Hope House and other Christians who were there for me and had enough patience to take the time to care and talk to someone like me. It has improved every area of my life.
I’m going to culinary school because I came to Hope House and graduated Jobs for Life. I’ve rebuilt relationships with members of my family because I’ve gained the humility and peace that allowed me to put those relationships back together in a Christ-like way. I’ve even joined Hope House, and I work here now as a Transportation Associate."
“Out of the last 14 years, I spent at least 12 of them in prison off and on. I got married in December 2016, and by Valentine’s Day, I was in a 6-month substance abuse program in Owensboro. While I was there, I learned some things about myself, but I didn’t defeat alcoholism. I already had in my mind that I was going to get that one drink after graduation. That one drink turned into hundreds, and those drinks turned into cocaine, and cocaine became my love instead of my wife.
On November 16, I got divorce papers in the mail. On New Years, I was arrested for trying to break into my girlfriend and her boyfriend’s house with guns. I thought I was protecting her from him. By the grace of God, I couldn’t get into the house. At that time, I felt alone and unwanted. I felt like nothing, like everybody was against me. I finally let go of everything and let God take control, and doors started opening when I recognized my addiction for what it is. Before Hope House, I was denied by three different recovery homes because of my gun charges. I got the application for Program Living in the mail in September, but I didn’t think they would accept me.
On October 8, at 9 o’clock, Jon Calloway, the Program Living Director, was at the jail to take me to Hope House. No other director would’ve picked me up himself. I’m learning to forgive myself and others. I had a grudge for my brother for over 15 years, and this program helped me to forgive him. I’m learning who I am and Whose image is in me. This program prepares you to live your life with and for God. Everyone at Hope House is compassionate, and there’s no such thing as calling yourself a failure here. That’s what I like about it.”
"About five years ago, Antonio and I were separated, and I moved to Bowling Green. We were always fighting because it didn’t seem like there was enough money to get through the month. We had no idea how to manage our finances, and we were extremely stressed. I came to Hope House for a food box and ended up getting a lifetime of change.
I learned about Faith & Finances through my Advocacy appointment. While I was in the class, I thought we were going to be late paying our light bill. Antonio was working at a restaurant and got paid daily, so we didn’t know if we’d be able to pay the bill with what he earned over the weekend. The staff at Hope House told me to come in on Monday if we couldn’t pay it, but we ended up having enough. I came to the office on Monday and ran down the hall saying, ‘I paid my light bill!’ I remember that being a real turning point for us.
Since then, we bought a house and some land, we’ve never been behind on a bill payment, and we went off of food stamps. Antonio even got his green card and work permit. We prayed for our daughter for 18 years, and after two miscarriages and one stillborn child, Olivia was born 15 months ago. God has completely restored our marriage, and we couldn’t be more blessed with our child."
Antonio: "Erica told me about the classes at Hope House, so I took Jobs for Life. I learned how to do an interview and make a resume. After the class, I took my resume to Indian Hills Country Club, and they offered me a job to help with the irrigation system. I’ve been there for four years, and now I’m a groundskeeper."
Erica: "I learned that I had always quit everything else, but I made it through Faith & Finances and had more confidence in who I wanted to become. I even started working at the Community Store and graduated Jobs for Life. It feels good to be able to pay our bills and be responsible. We give all glory to God. He led us to this place, and we just kind of fell in and did what was necessary."
"In July, I moved from Las Vegas with my family because I wanted to start a better life for us. My husband and I were on the verge of divorce, and I was depressed, anxious, and ready to give up. When we got to Bowling Green, I didn’t have anything, so I went to Reach Higher looking for financial assistance. I was placed at Hope House to complete my hours for assistance.
I learned about the classes offered at Hope House, and I decided to take Jobs for life. I didn’t graduate my first time because I had a lot going on in my life, but now I’m in Jobs for Life again and haven’t missed one day. When I interviewed for the job I just got at Wendy’s, I mentioned Jobs for Life, and my boss insisted that I finish the class. She also graduated Jobs for Life and loved it.
Jobs for Life is teaching me how to write down my goals and use timelines to achieve them, instead of just dreaming about it. I want to get my GED and move up at Wendy’s. I’m hoping to be a shift manager soon. I’ve let God in more, and I’m learning how to communicate better with my husband, kids, and other people. Before, I let my pride get in the way of asking for help, but the people at Hope House and Ms. Renea at Reach Higher helped me through that.
I’m looking forward to getting a car and a better house, and I want my babies to be happy and healthy. I’m getting out of my depression, and my marriage is doing so much better. I know that I’m a fighter and a very strong person because I haven’t given up. I have to do this for me and my family."