Archive for August, 2010

Meri Finds Mercy at Bethel House

Meri’s father was a “functioning” alcoholic who couldn’t seem to show his children any love.  So Meri went looking for other ways to fill that hole in her life.  “All my life I’ve struggled with drug addiction and abusive relationships,” she says sadly.  “They kind of went hand in hand for me.”

Things went from bad to worse when the end of another bad relationship left her homeless.  Now, she faced the nightly danger of violence on the streets—even rape.  Thank God, Meri was spared, but her life was chaos.  Her three children were living in three different states.  She no longer felt she had any reason to live . . . until she was granted a year at our Bethel House women’s program after a drug-related crime.

Now, if she could sit across a table from you, she’d say: “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the donors who support the Rescue Mission.  There was a time I was literally crying by myself under a bush, thinking I was going to die and there was no hope for me to ever recover.  I had given up all hope for life.  Because of the Bethel House, it’s like somebody came along, held me in their arms and said, ‘It’s OK.’  Without Bethel House I would not have had the opportunity to heal and be the person I always thought I could be, a servant of God who wants to help restore other lives.”

Meri’s making the most of her second chance, restoring her relationship with her parents and her children.  “I never felt like I could raise these children and give them a better life,” she says, “Now I do.”  And for the first time in her life, she looks forward to the future!

“Without the Mission, I know I would be dead.”

Alana is the proud mother of an amazing 19-year-old boy named Nicholas.  Although they have an incredible relationship today, it was not always the case.  Alana comes from a long line of alcoholics, and her family worked hard at presenting a normal appearance to the outside world but on the inside it was far from the truth.  She said, “In my family you were taught that big girls don’t cry.  I was supposed to do everything on my own because it was weak to need anybody.  I was angry and hurt and I learned quickly that drugs were an escape from painful thoughts and feelings.  Using drugs made me feel powerful and for ten years I was under their spell.”  When Alana became pregnant with her son Nick, she was able to stay clean for three years, but she began to use, sell, and make drugs, which led to trouble with the law.

When she was released and out on bail, she realized that she could be locked up for 12 years.  Alana said, “I began to look at this hole I’d dug for myself.  I swallowed a bunch of Methamphetamine (speed) and had a loaded gun in my lap.  I prayed ‘God forgive me for what I’m about to do.'”  Thankfully, she woke up to a friend pounding on her door and asked for help.  He told her about the Mission and she filled out an application and was accepted.  Alana is the Mission’s Outpatient Treatment Coordinator and celebrated eleven years clean and sober this year.  Alana said, “I am so thankful that I did not pull that trigger.  Without the Mission, I know I would be dead.”

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