As a child, Leticia never knew her dad. So her young life was spent trying to fill a hole in her heart. Before she knew it, she was on a dangerous path. “I grew up without a father, which led me to look for a father figure in men, anything that got [their] attention . . . usually alcohol and drugs,” Leticia says.
She bounced around motels. Leticia remembers nights when she would ride the bus all night long to get some sleep, and be in a safe place. Safety is a constant concern, in addition to getting enough to eat and keeping clean. Deep down she knew she was failing and needed to change.
At the Mission, you help desperate women like Leticia get back on their feet. For Leticia, not worrying about where her next meal would be coming from allowed hope to flow in, and transformation to begin. Having a safe place to stay meant Leticia didn’t have to live in survival mode. Leticia says, “Having a roof over our heads, clothing, food, hygiene . . . helped me to be more secure.” When Leticia’s dad left, the burden of caring for the family fell on Leticia’s mom. “My mom was the sole provider, and went on welfare to care for four girls by herself,” Leticia says.
At Orange County Rescue Mission, Leticia is taking online classes in accounting so that she can have better employment opportunities and give her son a better future when she graduates. “We will have an apartment where we can both have our own room . . . I am succeeding without government assistance,” says Leticia. Looking back, Leticia knew her life was in a downward spiral. “I wanted to stop but I didn’t know how,” she says. “I didn’t think I was worthy [of God’s love] because I had done so much damage to my family and myself.”
For many women like Leticia, learning that God is merciful, forgiving and wants the very best for them helps them feel less ashamed and alone. And gives them the strength to reach out for help. “On the streets I felt very empty and apathetic,” Leticia says, “but now I am not alone. I have God.” Graduates of the Mission’s programs look forward to a future filled with hope. Each restored life is a living testimony to the good work you help make possible.
Leticia encourages others just beginning their journey: “I help the new students coming into the Village of Hope . . . I encourage them, coach them on how to change and [how to let God take control] so they also can have a changed mind-set.”