Stories of Hope

Ryan was raised by two loving parents. “Life was good at home,” he shares. “I didn’t want for a whole lot.” However, when he was in junior high, Ryan wanted to gain some independence – he became rebellious. It was innocent at first: He started skipping class. But his bad choices snowballed and started him down a very dark and lonely path of substance abuse.
Here are five stories of hope that show how lives are being changed at the Bay Area Rescue Mission.
Tina spent the first years of her life in an abusive and dysfunctional home. When she was 9, she ran away for the first time. At 13 she met a boy who took her to the “hood,” where she began her life on the streets.
Garth was born into a happy, Christian home. “I grew up with a great family. I had everything I ever wanted,” he says. Then he started high school and his life took a dramatic turn. “I had a daughter at 14 and started using cocaine,” he says. “By the age of 15, I was experimenting with meth.”
When Jeremy was a little boy, he was abused by his mother and stepfather. “My grandmother got custody of me when I was six and showed me real love, but the damage was already done,” he says.
Sharica was being abused both physically and emotionally – a kind of hell that went on for seven long years… “The man really messed me up,” she says. “Finally I said, ‘Enough is enough,’ and I left him.”
Gabriele seemed to have it all – a successful marriage, two beautiful daughters, a lovely home, and work she enjoyed. Then she became a stay-at-home mom and her world began to crumble.
Brandon faced tragedy early on in life. He lost both of his parents at far too young an age. When his grandmother took over his care, he found he had a lot of freedom – and soon, he was beyond anyone’s reach.  For Brandon, it began as “fun.” Hanging with the “in” crowd at school. Alcohol. Drugs.
When Erin stepped through our doors, she was tired. More tired than a young woman of her age should ever be. She’d been living a rough existence for three years – or as she says, “from pillar to post, running the streets...doing it my way.”
LeKeitha was just a teenager when her mom walked out on her. Never in a million years did LeKeitha think that years later, she would do the same thing to her son. All because of her addiction to meth. “My son was six months old when I got addicted.”