Mission at Kern County

Carrissa's Story

women's shelter

When Carrissa was a little girl, she dreamed of a stable, loving place to call home, but instead, she moved from one relative’s home to another. And when she finally went to live with her mother at the age of seven, her dream turned into a nightmare. “My mom was addicted to meth and had a mental illness,” she says. “And her friend, the babysitter, molested me until I was 10. I felt so ashamed.”

Carrissa was just eight years old when she began numbing her pain with drugs – the beginning of a 20-year struggle with addiction. But, along the way, she had children and it was her love for them that led her to freedom. “A CPS worker was supposed to take my children, but he saw something good in me and gave me the option to come to the Mission’s Recovery Home for Women & Children instead.”

Through our Discipleship Program’s chapel services, Bible studies and Christian mentoring, Carrissa surrendered her life to the Lord. “God has shown me how to be content, humble and loving, and I’m continuing to grow in Him.”

Meanwhile, through Christ-centered counseling and life skills classes, she’s found emotional healing and developed the skills to become the kind of mother she’d always longed for. “I wasn’t loved as a child, but now I feel worthy of love,” she says. “I’ve learned how to love my children and they love me back!”

After she graduates, Carrissa and her children will stay in our transitional housing while she works and saves money for a home of their own. “I’m going to give my kids a stable life,” she says.

This Thanksgiving season – and all through the year – your kind generosity fills hearts with hope and gratitude – and transforms lives through God’s love! “I was alone and helpless, but now I’m hopeful and blessed. I feel a love here like I’ve never felt before.”

Help people like Carrissa today!