Sarah finds God, stability, healing at women’s program


Sarah was in and out of foster care until she aged out at 18.

After years of using drugs and living on the streets, Sarah is grateful for the safety and stability of the women’s Life Recovery Program. “I love that there’s a routine,” she said. “I love that there’s structure. I know when I have to get up and go to bed. I know when meals are…I didn’t have that before.”

Instability is something Sarah is all too familiar with. As a child, she was in and out of foster care. At 12, Sarah went to live with her grandmother, but the living arrangement didn’t work out, and Sarah went back to foster care until she aged out.

At 18, Sarah went to San Diego to attend college, but after the end of a relationship, she turned to drugs—eventually dropping out of college due to addiction. Sarah briefly stayed with her grandmother again, but when Sarah was caught using meth, she was kicked out. “I had nowhere to go,” she said. “I lived in my car for a while but then I lost that.”

Sarah knew she had to do something. “I wasn’t able to feed myself. I wasn’t able to take care of myself. It was getting bad out there (in the streets) and it was scary. I was freezing cold. I didn’t even have a tent or blanket to lay under… I just knew I couldn’t do it anymore.”

Sarah recalls feeling “welcomed and comfortable” when she first arrived at the program, something she hasn’t felt in a while. “I have no complaints (about the program) at all,” Sarah laughed. “Routine works best for me. The stability is comforting. It’s safe and welcoming and warm… I’m thankful to be here. I’m also growing closer to God. I’m building my faith back.”

Sarah’s eager to develop skills she knows she’ll need to be successful after graduation. “I’m helping at the (Victor Valley Super) Thrift store. I like that it’s getting me back into having that working mentality to get up early and hold a job. I’m excited to be able to get a job (after graduating) and being better prepared for it.”

Sarah encourages anyone needing help or who is struggling to consider the program. “Come join us, it really works! … Don’t be afraid,” she said. After graduation, Sarah’s goals include staying sober, connecting to a church and finding employment and stable housing.

Until then, Sarah is focused on healing. “Right now, I’m working on myself—working on my own stability and sobriety,” she said. “I’m getting everything I lost out there (on the streets) back. I was crushed before. I lost my dignity, my self-worth. I lost everything. I just had my clothes. Not even a backpack. That was all I owned.

“But my self-esteem is building up, and my confidence and my worth. My faith is growing… And I’m getting myself back too.”