Archive for July, 2012
Lori was the last person you’d expect to find at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. She used to have a great job and a comfortable home. She had a college-age daughter she was incredibly proud of. But Lori also had a secret: While recovering from a knee injury, she’d become addicted to prescription painkillers. On the outside, she’d always been the picture of success. But on the inside –– to say that Lori was a mess doesn’t begin to describe it. Little by little, she lost everything…her job, her home, and every shred of her self-respect.
Lori finally reached the point where, she says, “I decided that it would be a good idea to drive my car into a brick wall.” She knew she needed help and her first stop was the emergency room of a local hospital. Not long after, Lori entered our 12-month residential treatment program. “I went kicking and screaming” she remembers. “I still don’t know how I got here. It’s God. I was just so against it, yet I just kept being compelled to follow through.” Lori graduated from the program in July and recently went back to school to finish her degree in psychology, and the future just keeps looking better.
Kristian’s parents divorced when he was five, and he and his brother went to live with his father on a Hare Krishna farm. He reflects “I never really fit in anywhere we moved to because my dad made us look and dress like Hare Krishnas, and my experiences left me full of fear, anger, resentment and confusion. I didn’t even start first grade until I was nine, so all of these things combined caused other kids to excessively pick on and make fun of us which resulted in my constantly getting into fights, getting kicked out of school, and getting in trouble with the law.”
Kristian’s drug use left him out of money and homeless in Isla Vista. He was arrested and in jail once again. This time he requested an opportunity to recover at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. He remembers “I really wanted to change my life but was out of ideas and had nowhere else to go.” He was given an opportunity to invest in the Mission’s 12-month residential treatment program instead of serving a one year sentence in the county jail. “There is a night and day difference that has happened to me, and I now have a peace I have never known before and hope for my future” Kristian said.
The weather this week here in Santa Barbara is building the expectation for lots of fun and memorable Independence Day celebrations. One of the most special will take place at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission where we’ll hold our 5th Annual 4th of July Cookout and Carnival. As the holidays can be particularly challenging for those struggling with homelessness and addiction, we provide a place of warmth and welcome. We are looking forward to providing food, games, music, prizes and surprises from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Our prayer is that the hundreds who join us will feel God’s love, care and concern. Happy 4th!