Heather grew up between two homes because her parents divorced when she was 5yrs old. She has four brothers and one sister. There was a lot of arguing and fighting in both households, which left her in the middle of her parents’ disputes and often feeling alone. She grew up Christian and attended services weekly with her family, but at the age of 16 started turning to alcohol and pills as a way of coping with the stress.
Her cries for help manifested through cutting, ditching school, getting high and not coming home at night. Nothing she did seemed to work or give her the feeling and attention that she so desperately needed. She met Ryan and found someone who would give her the affirmation that she was looking for.
Her breaking point came when she was a passenger in a car with her boyfriend who was driving, while they were both high. He blacked out while driving and hit a cement light post going 70 mph. Heather’s seatbelt snapped off and the airbag didn’t deploy which allowed her body to go flying through the windshield. She was left unconscious and bleeding from her head. Her boyfriend then placed the drugs and her purse in the driver’s seat, in an attempt to frame her for the accident. Fortunately, the police were able to determine from her injuries that she was not the one driving, so they arrested him.
She stopped using for a period of time after this and had her daughter at the age of 23. Sadly, this did not stop her from using and her addiction increased from heroin to Meth, after her mother took temporary custody of her daughter. The pain of being separated from her daughter caused her to go even further into addiction. Heather came to a place where she didn’t want to live anymore and tried to end her life several times.
Heather came to the Hoving Home at a point when she was at the end of her rope and had lost all hope. Heather says, since being at the home, “I have hope now, I know God has a plan for my future and he wants to use me to help others that are stuck in that life, others who are hurting.” Her future plans are to become a youth Pastor for high school aged youth. She now has restoration with her daughter and is building a relationship with her that she never had before. She now has the desire to live a victorious life in Christ!
Tara came to the Home in Las Vegas very determined to change the path that her life was on. At only 22 years of age, she had lost all communication with her family and was facing a prison sentence. While in jail, Tara called out to God for the first time in her life. The courts allowed Tara to be placed in our home rather than go to prison! She has found hope, joy and a relationship with the Lord. Tara states, “I now have a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus that I never thought was possible. My relationships with my family have been restored and I continue to seek God’s will for my life. God has saved me and my chains are gone. I have been set free by His amazing grace!”
Tara completes the yearlong program in March and will be leaving for a mission’s trip to Jamaica shortly after! Tara’s plan is to remain at the Home in the Completer’s Program as she works to establish herself financially.
As I reflect on my life, I find myself in total awe! I now know for a fact, the presence of Christ in my life, has allowed me to live and experience His Love, Joy and Peace beyond anything imaginable.
I was accepted into the Hoving Home in December of 2012. I was at a point in my life where I felt I was at rock bottom. I was using crack cocaine habitually, destroyed relationships with children, family and friends. Homeless and dependent on street survival, kept me existing in a world that seemed to be cruel, dark and lonely. Not really knowing what to expect, I was willing to give it a try. At this point, I really had nothing left to lose but life itself.
In 1 year, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and asked Him to be Lord of my life. The Home showed me how to get structure, discipline and order. Being under the leadership of two amazing women of God, Sylvia Marchael and Tina Harrington, who loved, encouraged and showed the true characteristics of Christ, prepared me for the many blessings God had for me. Praying, devotions and having a heart of gratitude became a way of life and continues today.
After years of wandering without purpose, separated from family, many of my unwise choices miraculously led to one very wise choice, calling the Hoving Home. Now, as a graduate of the Home, I am convinced that…” He who began a good work in me will carry it on until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
I have restoration with my children, my siblings, all my family and dearest friends. I’ve had the opportunity to give back to others what was freely given to me.
Thank you Hoving Home for allowing me the chance to experience first hand that “No word from God will ever fail” (Luke 1:37).
My name is Tina. I am 53 years old and originally from Natchez, Mississippi. I am the oldest girl with four brothers and have three beautiful children and a beautiful granddaughter.
My downhill spiral into addiction began when I moved from Mississippi to California. I was 13 years old when I took my first drink of alcohol and 14 when I smoked marijuana. The move was a culture shock and peer pressure was overwhelming. I was extremely insecure and a people pleaser. I believed I was unlovable. That belief sent me looking for love in all the wrong places and with all the wrong people.
As I got older, the drugs got heavier and I fell deeper and deeper into darkness and despair.
My drug addiction took over. I remember always being an emotional wreck. I was broken into pieces.
I lost custody of my children and abandoned them.
I put crack cocaine above everything and everyone I love. I had no hope and saw no way out.
After several attempts of failing to stay sober, I decided the only way out and the only way to stop hurting my children and family were to disappear somewhere and die. That somewhere was Las Vegas. I spent 10 years on the streets of Vegas numbing myself and doing whatever it took to get my drugs including prostituting. Horrific things happened to me. On a daily basis, I wondered why I was still alive.
I wanted and needed to die.
One night in 2009, I got into a car with a stranger and went to a disserted gravel road. The man began to beat me and rape me at knifepoint. You see, this was not the first time this kind of thing had happened to me.
As the man began to lick my blood off my chest I knew I was going to die. But something happened within me, I began screaming out for God to help me! I began screaming out for Him to save me I did not want to die anymore.
All of a sudden the man threw up his hands and said, “I can’t do this”. He then pushed me out of the car onto the gravel road. As I laid face down, I felt something powerful within me. The best way I can describe it was a Light and I knew then that Light was God and He was saving me.
I went and cleaned myself up and went back to the street because I needed a hit. But this time it was different, I began talking to God and telling Him if He was really real to show me and get me off these streets. A car pulled up and I got in knowing he was an undercover policeman because he had taken me to jail before. I knew that he was my way out and that God had sent him. I solicited him and he took me to jail.
I was in jail 64 days. I kept telling everyone there that I needed God and I needed a program. I had two more days left before I was to get out and I began to get scared that God had changed His mind that I was not worth saving. On my 62nd day in jail I was talking to a girl and telling her that I needed God.
She gave me a phone number and said: “call this number this is where God is.”
It was the number to the Walter Hoving Home. I called and they had a bed for me which is rare because it is a 10 bed facility and a year program.
In October of 2009, I walked through the doors of hope of the Walter Hoving Home and was introduced to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
My sweet Jesus took my heart into His loving hands and began to transform my life through the Holy Spirit. He loves me! There is no other Love greater! Jesus and I have begun a relationship that no one or nothing can tear apart.
God used the curriculum of the Home to show me my true identity in Christ. I am being renewed every day. I am so grateful that all my past circumstances were permitted by the Lord to help me see my need for Him. He has set me on a firm foundation.
God has given me a purpose and a calling. Three years ago He called me into His service here at the Walter Hoving Home as a staff member. I get to share hope and speak life into the ladies that walk through the same doors I walked through.
My family, my children and my granddaughter have been restored back to me. They are giving me a chance and that chance I know comes from Jesus and the blood He shed on the cross for my sins. The Lord has taught me so many things and continues to teach me.
My son Joshua died in a car accident and in his addiction on July 28, 2013. Jesus has and is sustaining me through my grief. Because of Jesus, I am not an emotional wreck, I did not turn back to drugs and did not give up hope. But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. Psalm 3:3
As I enter into 8 years of sobriety my Lord continues on a daily basis to bring me from glory to glory.
Look to the Lord and His strength, seek His face always. – Psalm 105:4
God will create a new thing in this land:
A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!” – Jeremiah 31:22
Savana and her three sisters grew up in utter dysfunction as both her parents were addicts. There was constant fighting between her mom and dad and her father was physically abusive to her mother. As a result of these conditions, Savana grew up feeling alone and abandoned and thinking that she was the only one with parents that lived this way. Because of her parent’s lifestyle, her home was a turned into a drug house, with gang members coming in and out and stashing their drugs and guns inside the home. Savana was forced into isolation and that’s how she spent most of her time as a child.
At the age of 13, Savana started experimenting with Marijuana and Meth to cope with her feelings of isolation. Her traumatic upbringing propelled her down a path of destruction and despair with Methamphetamines and Pills. She ran into the arms of an older man who brainwashed her and led her into a full-blown Meth addiction.
By the age of 21, Savana found herself lost, hurting and on the brink of insanity. In an attempt to find some relief, she took a handful of pills and overdosed. Her Aunt quickly threw her in the shower to help save her life. When Savana regained consciousness, she started crying out to God to help save her and change her life. Shortly after this event, God answered her prayers and she met a graduate from the Hoving Home, which ultimately led to her walking through the doors herself to find healing, refuge, and freedom.
Savana proudly expresses that since coming to the home, “God has healed me and given me a second chance at life.” Restoration is beginning between her and her parents and upon completing the program, Savana wants to go to school to become a drug and alcohol counselor. She now has a wonderful future to look forward too!
Marlene was raised in a good family by two hardworking migrant parents. She grew up with one younger sister. They provided for all of her and her sister’s material needs, but emotionally they were absent it left Marlene feeling alone and isolated. The family attended a Pentecostal church and went to all its functions so Marlene knew of God from an early age but did not have a relationship with him. Because of her feelings of isolation, Marlene had a hard time making friends, and she started skipping school in the 6th grade to avoid being bullied and teased by her peers.
She turned to a gang as her way of feeling accepted and to have a place to belong. It was there that she was introduced to Methamphetamines which made her a false sense of confidence, and relief in a way that she hadn’t experienced before. Marlene got involved with a boy from school named Matthew and soon after had her first daughter at 16. This, unfortunately, did not stop her from using after the pregnancy.
She began a cycle of going in and out of jail and being on and off the streets. Her breaking point came when she found herself homeless, pregnant, and using meth. After being arrested for identity theft, she had her second child in jail. Marlene was hopeless, angry and confused and she had no clue how her life got so bad so fast.
She found herself in jail crying out to God, “I know you’re there, but I don’t have time for you.” She wasn’t ready to submit but God had other plans for her. Shortly after this, she entered the Hoving Home.
Since coming to the home, Marlene has discovered her new identity in Christ and she is removing all the lies and labels that the world has put on her. Her relationship with her family is stronger than it has ever been. Marlene has a burden to help youth with their self-confidence and to help with anti-bullying. She now has a new level of confidence in Christ!
Kelsey grew up in what seemed from the outside to be a perfect middle-class family. What most people could not see was how dysfunctional and chaotic the household was. Her parents were physically and emotionally abusive. Her father abandoned the family when she was just 10. Because her mom was an alcoholic and emotionally unstable, Kelsey had to fend for herself. By the age of 11 not only was she drinking along with her mother, but she was also raped by five men who rented rooms in the family home. Her mother was so intoxicated at the time, she walked into the room where Kelsey was being abused and walked right out without saying a word.
The traumatic events she experienced ultimately led her to a heroin and meth addiction. Despite her addiction, she got married after high school, had three beautiful daughters, and was taking care of her grandmother. When her grandmother passed away, the only sense of stability she had left imploded. She suffered a mental breakdown that led to multiple stays in psychiatric hospitals, involvement in prostitution, and homelessness as she fell deeper into addiction. Shortly after, she left her husband and children.
Her breaking point was when she was lying on a motel bathroom floor, naked, bloody with a shotgun to her head and a knife to her throat. She had no hope and nowhere to turn. By the grace of God, she was able to flee from this perilous situation. She then called the Walter Hoving Home!
After coming to the home, Kelsey stated, “Now I found healing and have a brand new beginning to life I never knew existed!” Kelsey has restoration with her family including her husband and three beautiful daughters who had been substantially affected by her drug use for so long. They have become a family again. She didn’t know the Lord before coming to the home, but now she has a wonderful relationship with God!
Kelsey completed the program in April and today she works in full-time ministry at her church. She is now the wife and the mother she always knew she could be. In the future she wants to open a non-profit that helps women who are trapped in sex trafficking. Kelsey has a new lease on life!
“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses
And all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty
This very familiar nursery rhyme has probably been heard by all people at some point in their life. And we say it with humor and fun and sing to our children. In a nursery rhyme it’s cute – but in real life when someone falls and their life is shattered it is tragic and devastating.
At the Hoving Home, we see women come into our program who have fallen down and their lives our shattered. Their hope has been crushed and they can’t see a way out or a different way. But they come here, and it is amazing to watch the transformation as God begins to restore hope and they have a glimpse of their life looking different.
With God – everything can change! Luke 1:37 is the first verse that our women memorize – “For nothing is impossible with God” and we truly believe that truth. God can do all things that need to be done in the lives of our women. My life was changed when I came into a relationship with Jesus Christ – I once was lost but now I am found.
I remember coming into the program and having no hope but then people started loving me and believing that God could do something in my life and then a miracle started to happen – after years of hopelessness in my addiction – I started to believe I could be different. And now I have the privilege of believing for others in the rubble of their broken life.