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MaryAnn was raised by a single mom alongside her five siblings. Her dad left the family when she was only 7 years old. “My dad chose to live in Mexico instead of with our family,” MaryAnn said. “And that has always affected me.” MaryAnn’s childhood was not easy. She and her siblings were often left…

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Ventura County Rescue Mission celebrates with early Thanksgiving meal for patrons

From Santa Paula and Simi Valley to Oxnard and Ventura, the Ventura County Rescue Mission provided hundreds of Thanksgiving meals in recent days to the region’s needy.

On Wednesday, the Oxnard-based nonprofit served plates piled with turkey, mashed potatoes and other fixings to those who live at the shelter and receive services. Dozens of volunteers also helped to plate the food and bring them to the guests.

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After consistent loss, he learns how to cope without using   Marlon was raised by a single mom in Oxnard. His mom worked hard to provide for him and his five siblings. “I had an OK childhood,” Marlon shared. “It was hard being in the middle of five brothers. We struggled a lot, but my…

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Rebecca grew up in the Bay area with three siblings and her mom. Life was good, Rebecca said, but she still started smoking and drinking when she was just 14. She had no idea that “trying new things and having fun” would lead to a life of addiction, homelessness, and jail time. At 19, Rebecca…

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‘God deserves the credit, and the Lighthouse led me to Him’

Julie can trace back to the time in her life when things took a dark turn. Although her “family was very dysfunctional” and her household was “chaotic from the beginning,” Julie said it was when a relative began to molest her that she was truly shook to the core. She started drinking at 14. “The…

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Vito had to ‘lose it all’ to learn to put God first

At a young age, Vito’s parents divorced, and those early years were filled with several moves between Arizona, Nevada, and California. He and his dad finally settled in Gardnerville, Nevada where Vito attended junior high and high school. Drugs and alcohol were not part of his life. He remembers having a “good childhood, not a…

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Tommy puts his relapses behind him, commits to permanent change

Tommy Davis and his father were close from the very beginning. When he was 13 years old, he moved with his father from his hometown of Chicago to Portland, Oregon. His parents had divorced several years earlier. “My mom wanted me to be brought up like a man, so she had me move in with…

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Years after graduation, Jasmin reflects on a life changed

It’s been over four years since Jasmin entered the Lighthouse’s Life Recovery Program, and looking back, Jasmin can’t emphasize the change in her life enough. “I went into the Lighthouse telling myself just to play the system to get my children back,” she said. “But being there, I gave it my all and began to…

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Peace is restored to a family after two brothers’ healing

George and Sonny grew up in a large and loving home in Northridge, California. They were two of five children to parents that cared for them and made family a priority. They shared weekly family dinners together and enjoyed playing soccer with their older brother Juan Carlos. As children, they saw the effects of alcohol…

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Ventura county rescue mission celebrates 50 years

This year marks a significant milestone for the Ventura County Rescue Mission-by God’s grace and with your partnership, we have now been serving our community for 50 years. As we reflect on the past, we are humbled by the Mission’s growth and the support we continue to see in our community. The Mission was established…

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Trevor overcomes addiction’s grip that took hold in childhood

Trevor’s addiction started gradually as a result of surgeries and injuries he experienced in middle school. After a freak soccer accident, Trevor had knee surgery at 12, and a couple years later, had to have another. “The second time is when I got the steady supply,” said Trevor of the piates he was prescribed. “At…

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Gloria gets off the ‘rollercoaster’ of her life, finds peace

Gloria was one of nine children; her parents and her large family were supportive and happy. Her father’s job moved them from Arkansas to Oxnard when Gloria was young. She recalls her childhood as a good one. “My parents were very consistent, disciplined and loving,” she said. “They took us to church every Sunday.” Gloria…

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