Marconi Foundation for Kids visited Orange County Rescue Mission a couple of months ago, and shamefully let time slip by without blogging about the tour of its Village of Hope. Forgive our marketing coordinator, she means well. Don’t hold it against her.
The Marconi Crew got an in-depth tour of Orange County Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope – a 192-bed transitional housing program for homeless men, women and children. It opened in March 2008 and boasts more than 150,000 sq. ft. of structures including two restored barracks on five acres.
Village of Hope offers a number of services for its residents including:
- spiritual and personal development
- case management and counseling services
- parenting and child enrichment center
- medical and dental care
- job training and life skills
- food service and dinig
- transportation and recreation
The Marconi Crew was fortunate enough to meet multiple families benefiting from the Village of Hope. One member of each family told their story and explained how Orange County Rescue Mission was helping them get back to square one. You may read multiple rescue stories on its website, but we’d like to share Lindsay’s story, as she was one of the inspirational families we met that afternoon.
Here is Lindsay’s journey via OC Rescue Mission stories.
Lindsay woke with a start. She was numb with cold. Gradually, her mind grasped that she was lying on the hard ground along the riverbed that had been “home” for the past few nights.
And then came the flood of memories. Her mom not noticing or caring about where her children were going or what they were up to. Her dad, with a drink in his hand, sitting for hours on end. She remembered craving his attention as a little girl, and how he masked his pain from the horrors of Vietnam. Most days, she had felt invisible. No one knew her heartache.
From the outside, her family seemed perfect. But with no one at home to care about what was happening in her life, Lindsay had begun looking for approval and acceptance elsewhere.
And she began a painful journey that stripped Lindsay of everything: her home, her children, her dignity and self-worth.
At 13, with no one to stop her, Lindsay began experimenting with drugs. “I ended up in a group home by the time I was 16,” Lindsay says. “But it didn’t help my addiction and it didn’t heal the damage done to my heart.”
And when her dad died, she fell deeper into the spiral of her addiction.
She also fell into the arms of a man who became toxic. Eventually, she lost control of her life, and of her two young daughters. Lindsay knew she couldn’t go on the way she was living. Lindsay recalls, “I was trying to survive digging through trash cans and dumpsters, getting bottles and cans to live through the day.”
With little hope left, Lindsay went through not one, but two rehab programs to get clean. But she still didn’t have anywhere to live after the programs ended. So, Lindsay turned to Orange County Rescue Mission.
And for the first time in a long time, Lindsay found the courage to “let go.”
At the Rescue Mission, Lindsay is starting over. Her first step was to let go of everything that was destroying her life — and not just the drugs.
“I had to let go of everyone I knew,” Lindsay says. “They weren’t good for me.”
Today, Lindsay is reunited with both of her daughters and deepening her relationship with God. She is even training to run a half marathon!
“The thing that runs through my mind is, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Lindsay shares. “I was living in a riverbed, eating out of dumpsters . . . now I’m clean and sober, have my two children with me, a roof over my head. I’m accomplishing things and setting goals and running marathons and getting job experience. I’m going somewhere. I’m not stuck anymore.”
It’s extremely important to Marconi Foundation for Kids CEO and Executive Director Missy Hanover to physically be present with organizations The Foundation supports financially. Improving the lives of those less fortunate is a core value throughout The Marconi office and is promoted within staff to give back, so a few staff members brought bags of items to be donated upon arrival.
Yes, Orange County Rescue Mission has a donation store and it directly benefits residents, nothing in the store is for sale to the public.
Here is a list of URGENT needs residents of OC Rescue Mission could use:
- men’s clothing
- baby food
- cleaning supplies
- feminine products
- reusable water bottles
There are a number of ways you can donate. Visit Orange County Rescue Mission’s website for more information.
The Marconi Automotive Museum is a class 501 ©(3) nonprofit located in the heart of Orange County. A portion of the net proceeds from booked events goes to various at-risk children charities throughout Southern California. We are open to the public for museum visitors Monday through Friday 9:00am – 4:30pm, double check our event calendar before visiting.
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