“To be honest, the life I grew up in, I didn’t see being alive at 50.” 

Michelle was exposed to abuse and addiction growing up. Getting attention meant she was a target. From a young age, Michelle “struggled to survive.”

As a teenager, she turned to drugs to cope. It was what she knew, the life she grew up in. And it was the only future she could see for herself. 

“When you grow up in an abusive, drug-infested environment, it’s hard to even see that there’s any other way,” Michelle explains.  

But when Michelle became a mother of two, she knew things needed to change. She got clean and moved her family into a substance-free house. 

Finally, things were looking up. That’s when life, again, took a turn for the worse. . . 

. . . the recovery house she was living at went into foreclosure. Suddenly Michelle and her children were homeless. Hopeless and afraid, she faced the terrifying question, “Will we have a safe place to sleep tonight or tomorrow?”

“It’s debilitating” explains Michelle. “Always having that hanging over your head is a huge burden, especially when you have kids.”

Thankfully, a caring friend suggested the Tacoma Rescue Mission. Soon after, Michelle and her family were able to move into the Mission’s Tyler Square Apartments.

It was a life-changing blessing.

“I was so used to having to survive, that I didn’t know how to thrive.” Michelle shares. “But being here, having the stability of a home helps hope grow. It really catapulted us” 

Finally, she could focus on helping herself and her family.

Michelle received her GED, enrolled in college and helped start a recovery support group. “I want to be able to help others,” she says. Without the constant chaos and struggles of homelessness, her children could thrive in the healthy and supportive environment.

Michelle is grateful for you. She shares, “The donor’s kindness makes all of this possible.”

Thanks to the generosity of community members like you, Michelle is now hopeful for her children’s future. “Being here brings opportunities to children who are less fortunate. A lot of the blessings you can’t put a price tag on,” she explains,  “Hope builds in the kids. They get to see that the world isn’t always a bad thing.”

Your gifts help to change and rebuild lives.  Michelle’s story is a powerful example. “I knew that there were people living a different kind of life,” Michelle says, “but I never thought that would or could be us.” 

Because of your support, individuals and families in dire need can receive crucial help and care. Many times, that begins with a meal. 

Will you help change a life by giving the gift of a meal? It could be one of the most rewarding gifts you give this Christmas.