"About one year ago, I was working two jobs to make ends meet for my children and me. My car had broken down, so I would walk to work at my first job and catch a ride to my second job when my shift was done. One day, I was walking to work, and someone from Journey Church asked me if I had a church home. I told him I was looking for one for my family. He offered to give me a ride to work and invited me to come to Journey Church that Sunday.
Soon after, I was evicted from my apartment, but I didn’t let that stop me from going to church. My children and I stayed with a friend from church while I looked for another place to live. No matter what I was going through, I kept going to church every Sunday. I didn’t let anything stop me. When I started going to Journey Church, I just let out my tears. I felt like a change was coming in my life.
Months passed, and I still couldn’t afford an apartment. My pastor told me about Jobs for Life at Hope House, and I didn’t even hesitate to say yes when he asked if I wanted to take the class. He didn’t want me to feel like he was pushing me to do something I didn’t want to do, but I told him that’s exactly what I needed: someone to push me to where I needed to be.
When I started the class, I liked how it had stories from the Bible in the workbook and that we prayed before class. I really liked the story about Jonah. The Lord told him to do something, and he kept running from God and trying to ignore Him. My auntie used to invite me to church, but I didn’t want to go. Something happened in my life that changed my mind, and she told me that God chases the ones He loves, just like Jonah.
Jobs for Life taught me that life is like driving down a road, and there will be roadblocks along the way. But I learned how to prevent roadblocks and get through them when they happen. I used to get angry at work and sometimes disobey the manager, but I’ve learned that I have to have respect for the people I work for and have respect for myself. Recently, I got a job in housekeeping because cleaning is something I love to do. I still don’t have my own car, so I had to wait for a ride and got to work six minutes late on my second day. I told one of my supervisors that I was on my way, but when I got there, the other supervisor fired me.
I was heartbroken because I had written down goals for myself that I wanted to accomplish, and I felt like I let down the people who helped me get to that point. It was a Sunday morning and I could’ve just gone home, but I went to church instead. Now, I’m working on applications for other jobs and doing whatever it takes to reach my goals. Just because I had that incident, I won’t let it stop me. I have to keep going.
I’m so thankful to have people around me to push me to where I need to be. I’m working on paying off the bill from my last apartment, so I can get a new place for my kids and me. I just have to keep telling myself it’s not too late. I want to get a job I like, so I can save up for a car. I’m taking one step at a time. I’ll be so happy when I reach my goals, but I know it doesn’t happen overnight. It took me a year full of a lot of struggle to get to where I am now, but I had to want change for myself before it would ever happen. I’ve learned that everything I’ve been through is my testimony, and God was with me the whole time.”
"Before Hope House, my outlook on life was very bleak, and I felt empty. I had a lot of people who loved me, but I was incapable of loving them in the same way. I was looking to fill voids in my life and hide my shame with substance abuse, which led me to dark places, and eventually to jail.
I had gotten to the point that I was okay with being incarcerated. I was okay with looking at ten years in the penitentiary. I was okay with having to sever all ties with everyone I cared about, and I had lost all hope. I was willing to try anything different because I was in a very scary place. I had gotten second chances from so many people and squandered them all, but I felt like Hope House was the last second chance I needed.
Once I got to Hope House, I realized that through all the years of substance abuse and emotional turmoil, I needed help spiritually. The people at Hope House showed me how to reconnect with Jesus, the only one who could truly give me salvation and fill the voids in my life with His love instead of filling them with drugs and so many other things.
I’m continuing to grow spiritually, which is spilling over into every other aspect of my life. I’m looking forward to being the father I wasn’t before, to show love to the ones I care about, and to giving God the glory for being a light that came from darkness. I want to be an example to others that as long as there’s hope you always have a second chance."
"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.”
112 W 10th Ave.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Tues–Thurs by appt. only
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