When a father comes to Orange County Rescue Mission for help, often his breaking point is his inability to provide for his family – being unable to kee them fed, safe and loved. I have known so many different stories of how they get to that point, but when they do it becomes a catalyst for the hard work of life change. David is one of these men.
Some friends offered to let David, Shanna and their young son stay in their home, rent-free, if they helped paint, make repairs and care for their two disabled children. When the work ended, David and Shanna would be paid an agreed-upon amount. Except that didn’t happen. Not only were David and Shanna not paid, the homeowners told the furniture rental company that the couple had stolen all their furniture! “They tried to set us up,” Shanna says.
Shanna ended up calling her sister, who came and picked her up along with the couple’s son. David lived in their car while he looked for work. He soon came to rely on the one thing he thought could help him cope with the stress: drugs. At his lowest point, David recalls wishing something would happen to him so his wife and son would have a better life. “[Then] I wouldn’t be a burden to them,” David says, “They wouldn’t have to worry about me.”
But Shanna was told about Orange County Rescue Mission, and how at Village of Hope a family can get a second chance, together. The family was reunited at the Village of Hope. “I was sick the first night there,” Shanna remembers. “I was mentally, physically drained. But it was incredible to be safe and together. I thought, Now I can breathe. I can let go of the breath I was holding.”
At the Mission, all of the family’s needs were taken care of so David and Shanna could concentrate on building a better life. David says, “The food was great when we got here. Sitting with my wife and son, I didn’t have to stress out about when they were going to eat.”
Today, David has been working full time since July, and Shanna has just secured child care for their son and will begin her full time employment next week. The family is taking final steps to become fully self-sufficient.
The faithful support of donors helped make it all possible!