After battling an addiction to alcohol and drugs that started in her teens, and on probation for drug-related charges, Bobbie tried hard to change her life through sheer willpower. But she realized in her mid-40s she simply didn’t have the strength to change on her own. As she contemplated suicide, a counselor told her about Rockford Rescue Mission. Bobbie joined our Life Recovery Program in 2009 and began to grow in her Christian walk.
“I already knew the Lord, but had left Him behind by doing drugs,” she says. Lacking in self-esteem when she first walked through our doors, it didn’t take long before Bobbie felt confident enough to imagine her life could have meaning and to take the steps necessary to achieve it. She soon enrolled in our Innovative Education Center (IEC).
“In the beginning, Bobbie was nervous and frustrated because she read at only a first-grade level,” IEC Instructor Pamela Thompson shares.
“Can I really do this?” Bobbie wondered. “Is my vision too bold?”
These feelings are shared by so many of our residents as they first enter our programs. But they’re soon replaced with excitement and anticipation as one small success leads to the next.
Initially, we helped Bobbie “learn how to learn” through techniques that improved her memory skills. Then she sharpened her reading, writing and math skills. By January 2010 she’d made enough progress to take part in enhanced programs through the Literacy Council of Rockford. In April of that year, her reading level had increased two grades, and she began working toward her GED.
Vocational training in our Restoration Café—part of our Career Employment Services (CES)—also played a role in Bobbie’s transformation, empowering her with confidence and self-respect. “Working in the kitchen taught me how to work with people more,” she says. “It taught me how to be humble, slow down and listen.”
With a lot of hard work and determination, Bobbie excelled. She completed our Life Recovery Program in 2010 and today has an apartment, a car and—at age 47—a driver’s license for the very first time! She secured a food service job with a local social-services organization and believes without a doubt she is following God’s plan.
“I recommend the Mission and these wonderful programs for anyone trying to find themselves and find God,” she says. What seemed like a bold vision not long ago has set a firm foundation for a bright future!