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Lives changed for good: Updates on Carlos & Jesus

For the last few years, Carlos has called a small underpass settlement off the 5 South in Pacoima his home. A large tent reinforced with plywood was where he spent his days and nights. “It was dangerous,” he said. “Sometimes I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep. I would just get high and get…

Looking forward to a new year at the Mission

2021 was supposed to be the year that everything got back to normal. Well, for many it turned out to be a year of starts and stops, slow progress and frustrations. And yet, despite the ups and downs, one thing remained true: God’s steadfast love never wavered and His mercies never ended. Throughout this past…

Saying goodbye to our Lighthouse director

After more than three years as Lighthouse director, Dee Frighetti will be stepping down from her position as she prepares to move to Arizona to care for her mother. She will stay on through the end of the month. “It’s with a heavy heart that I must announce my resignation,” Frighetti said. “It was a…

Christmas offers opportunity to meet spiritual, practical needs of our community

This is one of the most wonderful times of the year at the Ventura County Rescue Mission and the Lighthouse for Women and Children. Covid-19 has impacted all of our worlds. When I was writing this letter last year, I truly thought that we would be on the other side of this pandemic by now,…

Frank looks forward after battling ‘dark times’ in his life

Frank was born and raised in Bakersfield. He grew up in a home with both parents and five sisters, and after graduating high school, he left the family home and enlisted in the Navy. “My time in the Navy was a dark time in my life,” Frank said. “I was trained in the medical field.…

Gloria: ‘Everything I expected, everything I needed, it’s here’

With just two months left until graduation, Gloria has been looking forward to that milestone. But she knows that her journey doesn’t end there. She is planning to enter the Lighthouse’s transitional living program and eventually live on her own. Gloria receives social security payments, as she can’t work due to psychological issues, but she…

Dustin encourages Mission program to ‘rebuild your life’

After years of watching his father drink, Dustin noticed that his dad would act differently when consumed alcohol. He was only 9 when he took up the habit. “I started asking my dad for sips of his drinks, and he would give it to me,” Dustin said. “I really liked the taste of alcohol, which…

Carlos gets off the streets, finds help at the Mission

For the last few years, on and off, Carlos has called Interstate 5 his home. A small underpass settlement off the 5 South in Pacoima, set up with plywood and a large tent, was where he spent his days and nights. “It was dangerous,” he said. “Sometimes I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep…

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,”…