It happened so fast. Too fast.  

One day Rachel was partying with her friends, drinking and smoking. The next day her boyfriend shared his heroin with her.  

 “Not even a week-and-a-half later I was a daily user,” she says.  

 As you can imagine, things only got worse from there.  

 “I’ve been in and out of treatment 90% of the last three years,” says Rachel.  

Now, she’s in treatment here at the Tacoma Rescue Mission. But this time, she knows it’s different. For the first time, she’s seeing clearly the destruction that addiction and homelessness causes.  

It’s Life and Death  

“My best friend passed away a little over a year ago from a heroin overdose, and I was supposed to be with her that day. It is really eye opening and really scary to think, well, that could have been me. . .” 

“The love and support and the accountability that’s here is amazing. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. It’s truly opened my eyes.” – Rachel

But like many, Rachel’s eyes weren’t opened right away. In fact, she came to the Mission before and had to leave because she relapsed. You see, even though we want to do everything we can to help people get clean and sober, if they choose to go back to using, we won’t let them stay in our program.

But her time at the Mission made her see things differently. 

“It really opened my eyes to how scary it is still out there, and how nothing has changed. And how drugs are not going to solve my problems. And it’s just a vicious cycle out there.” 

The Power of a Second Chance  

Because we believe in a God of second chances, when Rachel came back and asked to try again, we gave her grace and will continue to do so. It’s what Jesus would do!

That grace opened her eyes to the reality of addiction and hopelessness, and it opened her eyes to Jesus. 

“It’s different here than I’ve ever experienced in clinical treatment or on the street where there’s just judgment and anger,” she says.

“This place has just opened my mind to a whole different side, the actual reality of things with God incorporated.” – Rachel

Now that Rachel’s eyes have been opened, she knows she’s on the right track. At 22, she’s already been saved from an early death or decades of hopelessness, homelessness and addiction. And she’s not the only one! Her sister recently graduated from the women’s program and is doing incredibly well.  

“I just want to say thank you,” Rachel says. “This program saved my life and saved my sister’s life as well. For that I’m just eternally grateful. I thank all of the people in the world who make programs  like this possible, because without it, who knows where I would be. Who knows where my sister would be and where any of these girls would be.”  

*Name and photo changed for client privacy.