Thuy is thankful to have her family back. “Getting clean and sober means nothing if they’re not in my life,” she says. “But they are. Our relationship is restored, and we’re making up for lost time.” Thuy is learning what it means to be a mom — a good mom — to her 3-year-old daughter. She’s worked hard to build a better life for both of them. But the future hasn’t always looked promising, not by a long shot.

The Odds were Stacked Against Her

Born in Vietnam after the Vietnam War ended, she spent some of the earliest months of her life in a refugee camp. Her mother died tragically there. By the time she was a toddler, what remained of her family had made it to the United States. “My father did the best he could to raise my sister and me,” she explains. But he wasn’t around much, as he labored to keep his children fed and sheltered. She often felt neglected and lonely. The family struggled financially. “Sometimes I was so hungry I had to go to the neighbor’s house to eat cereal,” Thuy remembers. When she was 9 years old, her father remarried. After that, she felt even more unwanted, and was very confused about life. “I got into trouble at school a lot,” she confesses. By age 15, she was using alcohol and drugs. At 16, the police caught her with
methamphetamines. “My father was very disappointed in me,” she recalls. That hurt. But it didn’t stop her from using. Addiction would dominate her life for the next 20 years. She was six months pregnant and homeless when she hit rock bottom.

“I lived a life of self-destruction and had no purpose. The Rescue Mission changed that.”

Thuy came to the Mission desperate to change. “I have been so blessed since coming into the Village of Hope,” Thuy says. She received a grant to continue her education, and is now employed full time. She has taken parenting classes, and is now learning how to manage her life as a single, working parent, while continuing to live in a safe and supportive community for her and her daughter. “The Mission has made me feel like I have a purpose — a good purpose,” Thuy says.