Carmen could no longer endure being molested by one of her brothers, so she left home at age 15.
She grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father – the youngest of 13 children. Carmen then continued the cycle, entering relationships with abusive men and using crystal meth to dull the pain.
After years of addiction, Carmen finally hit rock bottom when she ended up living in the river bed for nearly three months. Celebrating her youngest daughter’s 8th birthday amongst the squalor finally motivated her to come to Long Beach Rescue Mission.
Carmen and her daughter are staying at the Lydia House, in our program to help women and children overcome homelessness and rebuild their lives. Carmen also stopped running from God.
“I know that I would not have made it through all the things I’ve been through without God,” she says. “I know now that He’s never going to leave me – He’s always there.”
The transformation in Carmen’s relationship with her daughter has been incredible. She says, “I see a huge change in her. She’s learned stability over these last ten months. I walk her to school every day. We’re getting to know each other.”
Carmen is studying to get her GED, and hopes to find a job in outreach ministry, helping other women who have faced similar challenges.
“The Mission has completely changed my life. I can actually talk to my daughter and appreciate the little things – having a bed and not having to steal water from someone’s front yard. Here, they clothe you, feed you, put a roof over your head – even help with medical issues. It’s an awesome program.”
Because of your support, Carmen, and other struggling people like her, find help and hope when they walk through the doors of Long Beach Rescue Mission – at Easter and always. “The Mission has completely changed my life. I thank God, and I thank the people here.”
To read the rest of this issue of Rescue Review, click here.