Celia turned 60 years old in June. She came to Raleigh Rescue Mission in December of 2017, and has spent the last year and a half getting her life back on track.  Just a few weeks after her birthday, she moved into her own apartment, after being homeless off and on for almost five years.

Phase 5 in our New Life Program is called “Transformation.” For a client to reach this Phase they’ve successfully completed numerous classes, been involved in counseling, obtained a job, purchased a car from Wheels for Hope, and saved enough money to begin living on their own again. Celia is living proof that it’s never too late for a transformation.

As a child Celia suffered abuse from her father, and was later also abused by her husband. She says she has experienced depression first hand and how it can paralyze you, and make everything seem overwhelming. “I told myself, I’m not going there again. I got on my knees, and asked God to get me out of this depression. Show me what I gotta do.”

Celia has also known success and stability. For most of her adult life she had decent jobs, and owned her own home and a car. But in 2013 she was laid off from a job, then an injury to her shoulder a short time later led to her quitting a job in manufacturing. She never dreamed how hard it would be to find another well paying job. “I never had trouble finding jobs, but none of them paid enough to live on. I lost my car, and my home was foreclosed on,” she recounts.

Before coming to the Mission she stayed with friends, lived with her daughter for a while, and also lived at another women’s shelter for almost a year. She just could not get enough money or momentum to find another stable living situation.

All that has changed now. Celia says she loved the “Jobs for Life” class and learned so much about budgeting and planning. She is adamant that the New Life Plan taught her to set goals and figure out how to stick to them. She rode the bus to Wake Tech and completed the coursework for becoming an EKG technician, often rising at 4 am to study and do homework. She did all this while working at UPS. After the coursework, she spent four more months studying for the accreditation exam, and passed it on her first try. “I’m interviewing now for an EKG tech position. I’m using what I learned about writing resumes and interviewing. I will get the job!”

Celia still comes back to the Mission on Tuesday evenings for Chapel. “God is using me as witness to help other women now. I tell them, if I can do all this at my age, y’all can do it. You have to want it more than anything else.”

Congratulations to Celia on her transformation, and thank you to our generous donors who make our New Life Plan available. Celia is living in one of the rental units provided to us by a generous couple. See related story.

“When I came here, I was sad. I was very afraid. I asked the Lord to do something for me. Getting accepted into the New Life Plan was the answer to that prayer.”