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Desiree has experienced ‘real heart change’

Gang activity and drug addiction run deep in Desiree’s family, and unfortunately, she was not able to avoid that path herself. She was born and raised by her mother in Oxnard. “My mom comes from a hard background-she was born addicted to heroin,” Desiree said. “My grandmother was in prison during my mother’s whole life,…

Larissa: ‘When I’m with God, I feel at peace’

Larissa didn’t have a lot of consistency in her childhood home, and was often at the center of domestic violence and gang activity. “When my stepdad went to prison, he left me and my brother, and also three children—his kids—behind,” she said. “My mom was never around so I took care of them. They celebrated…

Charles says ‘the future looks hopeful’ after Mission stay

Charles is originally from Indiana, but he moved with his family to California when he was just 5. His parents divorced when he was 10. He grew up in a house with his mother, stepfather and half-siblings. “I still had a great relationship with my biological father,” said Charles, who said he enjoyed fishing and…

SCOTT SQUASHES HIS ‘INSTINCT TO RUN,’ STAYS GROUNDED AT MISSION

Scott grew up in a busy house—he had five brothers and both of his parents worked. They lived in the San Fernando Valley and Washington State before settling in Thousand Oaks. When he got to high school, Scott started drinking. “At 14, I figured out that I could change the way I felt by alcohol,”…

MORE THAN A DECADE AFTER GRADUATION, ANDREA HELPS OTHERS RESTORE WHAT THEY’VE LOST

Andrea grew up in Los Angeles in a Christian household—she had pictures of Jesus “all over her house”—she said. But even with that positive influence, Andrea found herself going through a major teenage rebellion phase. “My stepdad would tell my mom, ‘She’ll grow out of it.’ I didn’t. I didn’t have a bad life—it was…

ELIJAH PREPARES FOR ‘NEW BEGINNINGS’ AS HE NEARS GRADUATION

After years of his addiction running his life, Elijah said it hurt him deeply when he realized what he had done to his parents and how much he had worried them. “I took advantage of their love for me,” he said. “I didn’t care at the time about anyone but myself.” So when his parents…

WEDDING BELLS – CONGRATULATIONS TO ELIZABETH AND ALEXANDER

Just last month, the Lighthouse for Women and Children hosted a very special day: the wedding of Elizabeth and Alexander Anguino. It is the first wedding to be held at the Lighthouse, and took place just two days after Liz’s graduation from the program. “Liz has grown immensely as a Lighthouse sister,” said Rene Camper,…

Mission, Lighthouse celebrates graduates

We are so proud of our graduates! Last month we celebrated five Mission graduates: Francisco, Joseph, Jesus, Harry, Marshall; and two Lighthouse graduates: Liz and Bridgette. These dear people all worked so hard to change their lives and now they all move on the next stage of victorious living. In the above photo, Lighthouse Director…

Recent graduate Bridgette finds confidence, peace at Lighthouse

Bridgette’s childhood was chaotic, moving between her parents’ houses in different states and experiencing difficult trauma at a young age. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas until she was 7, and her family—her mom, stepfather, and two brothers—moved to Pismo Beach. Bridgette was molested from age 5 until she was 10, at…

Erin graduates, starts anew with 3-year-old daughter

As a new Lighthouse graduate, Erin is optimistic about her future, as well as that of her nearly 3-year-old daughter, Brieanne. She is making plans for a new career and has settled into the Transitional Living Program. “It’s now about trusting in the Lord, and handing it all over to him and knowing he has…

After two years on the street, Jesus enters program, finds hope

When Jesus’ father came to the United States from Mexico, he had to work two jobs. He secured a visa for his family to join him. Jesus’ mom didn’t read or write English, but learned while raising Jesus, just 2 at the time they arrived in the U.S., and his three siblings. The family settled…

Veronica has felt wounds open and heal at Lighthouse

Veronica was born in Mexico, but was brought to the United States when she was 8 months old. She was raised in Los Angeles until she was 11, when her family moved to Thousand Oaks. She grew up with two younger brothers and parents who were “hard working, striving to give us a better life…