Behind Her Smile

When Selia smiles, it’s not just her lips that curve upwards. Her eyes sparkle and her entire face radiates joy. Seeing her, you can’t help but smile yourself. Especially when you find out how far she’s come to be able to smile so brightly. As of this month, Selia will have been clean and sober for five years. She knows if it weren’t for friends like you and the Mission, she’d still be addicted…or worse.

“The Rescue Mission changed my life,” she says. Selia remembers the wind blowing on her face as tears fell down. She was on the top of a tall building, thinking about jumping. “I thought about ending my life,” she says. “I hadn’t slept for a really long time. I didn’t have a stable home, so I was homeless. Just spiritually dead inside.” On top of all that, Selia hadn’t been getting the food she needed. Everything about her — body, mind, and soul — felt unstable. In that moment, Selia felt led to go home to Santa Barbara. She called her mom whom she hadn’t spoken to in years, and told her she needed help. Her mom came and picked her up in the middle of the night.

She was accepted at the Mission shortly after arriving in town. Here she found a stability that she’d been missing for years. Today Selia has a job, an apartment, and has mended relationships with her family—including her daughter who had said unless her mom was clean she didn’t want to have anything to do with her. Selia has also grown to have a deep faith and love for Jesus. “I fully believe that God brought me here and saved my life from that ledge, to bring me specifically through this program,” she says. “It’s that foundation that I got from the Mission that carries me through to my day-to-day life. I’m a proud, productive member of society today. My way of thinking is just completely different from what it used to be.”