Homeless single moms are breaking the cycle of addiction and reuniting with their children thanks to a community of tiny homes and the services provided here.
Acres of Hope allows the women to live in one of ten cottages for up to two years, accessing the aid that helps them finish their education, clear criminal records, get higher paying jobs, find permanent housing—and, most importantly, address the root causes of their addiction, so they can achieve personal success.
Instead of being shuffled from program to program without any real change, this Christian-based nonprofit in Auburn, California, aims for life-changing transformation. The staff and volunteers invest heavily in their lives by providing encouragement, practical life-skills training, job skills, mentoring and spiritual direction.
“We give them the opportunity to breathe and exit survival-mode,” says Executive Director Lisa Risdal. “Our graduates have become strong independent women who are also loving and nurturing mothers.”
“‘Breaking the cycle of homelessness’ aren’t just words at Acres of Hope—it’s really happening.”
Plenty of women in the last ten years who have ‘graduated’ can testify to its effectiveness.
“I walked in homeless, my children about to be adopted after 18 months of being in foster care, no job, no transportation and no close family support,” wrote Brea Bowman online. “This program transformed mine and my 3 children’s lives—my kids were returned, my case closed successfully, I have an amazing career that is beyond my wildest dreams, a home to call our own, transportation and my dignity back… Now I get to go out into this world and give back what was so freely given to me.”
The well-maintained sunny cottages are nestled among trees, with a playground and daycare center on-site.
7-year-old Tyler arrived on the campus earlier this year and Risdal noticed him joyfully running around with his hand raised high in the air. His high-pitched squeal gave away his excitement.
“I asked, ‘Why are you so excited?’”
“He looked up at me, held out his hand, and proclaimed with a big grin across his face, ‘I have a key, this means we don’t have to go back to foster care!’”
(WATCH a video from KTXL-TV 40 News)
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