"Before Hope House, my life was miserable. My mom was 12 when I was born. She was young and made mistakes. She didn’t believe me when I told her my step dad abused me because she was usually at work when he did. I did well in school, but he would beat me no matter how good my grades were. I never met my biological dad until I was 9 or 10 years old. He was in and out of prison my whole life. Eventually I moved in with my grandma. Granny was good to me, but she wasn’t strict. I did what I wanted and got suspended from school a lot.
I was so out of control that I moved around constantly between my mom, my grandma, and eventually, my dad. He sold drugs, and that’s how I was introduced to meth. I dropped out of school, and started using and selling drugs at 16. I hated everybody. I had a hole in my heart that I could never fill. I hated my family, I hated myself, and I hated God. I longed to be loved, but I also couldn’t allow anyone in my life to hurt me again. I was a miserable, mean and violent person.
I’ve been in jail most of my adult life. I spent more time in jail than I did at home. On February 26, 2020, I was arrested again. I think that was God’s way of saving my life. I was so depressed, and that was the worst state I’ve ever been in. On November 11, my grandma bonded me out, and I decided I was done with that life. I came to Hope House. It’s been hard to change, but I am motivated to never have to live that way again.
My attitude didn’t change at first in the program, but I was loved here, especially by two volunteers named Phil and Brenda. God used them to save me. They showed me what it was like to be truly loved. After spending time with Phil and Brenda, my heart started to open up, and that allowed Jon, Justin and the other teachers to teach me and lead me to my new life in Christ.
God changed my heart and my life. I don’t regret my past because it brought me here. The void I needed filled has been filled. I’m on a successful path, and I have an amazing job. I’m having the time of my life, and I’m happy. I’ve been able to forgive and mend all my relationships, and I’ve built so many new relationships. I’ve been baptized, and I’m a member at my church. God used Hope House to save me from a life of misery, and hopefully I can be a light for people in the same shoes I was in."