Regina shared her story at Commencement ceremonies for the Women’s Center of Hope. She was one of the excited graduates.
When I arrived at Steelbridge, I was broken, afraid, ashamed, alone, and full of guilt. I was raised both Catholic and Baptist, so I had some experience with religious things. However, my home life changed and church was no longer a part of our life and it seemed neither was God.
At age 13, I became pregnant with my junior high boyfriend and for two years we were the best parents teenagers could be – until my father was killed. After this, I ran from the age of 15 to 35. I started using heroin, prostituting, and spent a total of 12 years in and out of jail. So many things happened during these years I know God must of placed angels around me.
I ran from the age of 15 to 35. I started using heroin, prostituting, and spent a total of 12 years in and out of jail.
Later, I attended college and upon graduation, got a job as a social worker. I never imagined going back to the life I lived. I gained the love and the trust of my loved ones, my colleagues and most importantly, my daughter. We began to have a real mother and daughter relationship.
It would seem that would be the fairy tale ending we all love. But life isn’t like a fairy tale.
I ended up back in my old life again. I ran the streets doing the same thing over and over again.
When I made it to the doors of the Women Center of Hope, I was so rough around the edges. But over time, I began to realize the Lord was changing me. I learned to make friends with women. I had a prayer partner, a volunteer, who listened to me and then corrected in the gentlest manner. I learned the staff was there to help me.
Today I no longer go to jail, fight, get shot. I don’t want for anything. I don’t run from the police. Now they just say “hello.”
Regina came to the Women’s Center of Hope at Steelbridge wanting to change. The change took time. She needed to be healed in her soul. She needed to be restored. Sometimes there are wounds that run so deep, that great love is needed over the course of time to bring about change.
During Commencement ceremonies, Regina’s daughter watched her share her story - sober and strong - so proud of her mom. They are beginning a restored relationship and look forward to a future filled with peace, joy, and love.
Steelbridge partners and volunteers make the Women’s Center of Hope a safe place for women like Regina. They are the difference-makers and part of everything we do.
The WCOH has room for 26 women like Regina. That’s 26 fewer women who are rescued from homelessness, addiction, and prison. That’s 26 families who are able to laugh again, connect again, and hope again.
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