After eight years in an abusive relationship, I finally got out to find my own way. I found drugs and spent three years in addiction. I ended up in jail. After several months, I was sentenced to drug court and to the Lighthouse.

I didn’t have any family here in Mississippi. I’m from Texas. I was not only in recovery and learning to become a mom again. I was also homeless.

I spent about nine months in Lighthouse and spent about a year and a half in assisted houses. At the secondary housing treatment I was at, I was given the opportunity to work here at Firehouse, where I am now. I’ve been here for two years now.

When I was younger, I didn’t realize how important it was to keep a job and to work hard. Lighthouse taught me how to obtain and hold a job and what was expected of me. They held us accountable with our chores. They taught us to be responsible at home…sticking with chores, dinner plans, bible studies, doctors’ appointments. They didn’t do it for us; they gave us the tools to get those things done on our own.

They encouraged us…Mr. Ken and Ms. Carrie are like my family. I was saved when I was 12. I know that now. But then, they didn’t teach us that it was a daily walk with Him, obeying Him, following His word. That didn’t hit me until I was sitting in jail and God spoke to me. He told me He had better plans for me. Regardless of the lies I had allowed my mind to believe, I realized I had to continue to renew my mind with His word to truly heal.

It can be so easy to get distracted, but at Lighthouse, we had volunteers almost every night of the week to lead bible studies. Some were recovery-based, some were paired with a meal…these were all part of a foundation of courses that Lighthouse provides, spanning life foundations, conflict resolution and career preparedness.

Of course I would say, “Give Lighthouse a chance.”

Of course I would say, “Give Lighthouse a chance.” You know, give them a chance but also recognize that our ways didn’t work. They didn’t. Try something new. You’re being provided with a new way of thinking. Try it. Stick with it. You can do it. I can do it. I’ve got four kids. You can do it.