“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."
For a long time, I was a functioning addict. I couldn’t wait to get off work every day so I could drink, and I even got to the point where I would stop on my way home to grab a bottle. The day I got a DUI, I lost everything: my job, car, and house. After that, I bounced around and stayed with friends who were mostly addicts too. I felt God calling for months telling me to get my head right.
A family friend who worked at the Police Department said he would take me to Hope House, but I didn’t think I needed that kind of help. About five months later, I was hopeless and had nowhere else to go. I moved into the Sober Living house, and the people at Hope House helped me get transportation and complete my DUI classes. Day by day I became a little bit more like myself again.
I started Jobs for Life but thought I wouldn’t learn much, coming from a professional background. I almost cried in the first two minutes learning about Jeremiah 29:11. I learned how to turn to God when I’m hopeless; he’s always there. I moved into my own apartment on November 11. Almost one year later, I signed my lease for the second time, and I’m still working at the same job. I have furniture now and my own car. It’s funny what you take for granted. I used to have everything, making 60-70 grand a year, but it went to nothing real quick.
I want to keep moving in the direction God has for me. I look forward to the blessings he has for me and also how I can bless other people. Some of my coworkers use, and I know that they feel hopeless like I did. I want to show them that they’re loved. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity I had at Hope House. Every day wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was life changing.
"I’ve been in and out of jail since I was 16, usually after a break up. I’ve always tried to please others and be accepted, but when I lost everything I had worked for, I turned to drugs and struggled with depression. A lot of my family have been in and out of jail too, so that’s what I grew up with.
I dated the mother of my child for eight years, but after my son was born, she left and I went back to drugs. The last time I was in jail, my social worker suggested Hope House because she didn’t think drugs were my real problem, I needed to find my purpose in life. I’ve been in the program 3 months and 4 days.
I’ve learned that I can’t do this on my own, and I can’t try to find myself in other people anymore. They won’t always be there, but God will. I grew up in church and was baptized, but I was always half and half. I was the type of person who only believed in death. Looking outside, who created all of this, there’s got to be a higher power than myself.
I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my family, and maybe not only changing myself but helping them change too. Before, my son was used against me and I didn’t see him much, but now, I get to see him almost every week. I want to build a relationship with him and make sure he doesn’t make the same mistakes as me."