When Dominique’s friend told her about the Steps to Success program at Fort Collins Rescue Mission, she knew she could just as easily call her drug dealer. But she was tired of that life. She wanted to see her daughters again.

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Miles of desert raced past as Dominique stared out the window. The drive from Arizona to Colorado was familiar, but this trip wasn’t in her plans. This time, she was being extradited to Colorado for a felony, and for all her two daughters knew, their mom had simply disappeared.

Dominique grew up with an alcoholic and abusive father, and her parents fought regularly. Despite a strongly religious, Catholic upbringing, she didn’t believe God cared about her. “I thought if there was a God, He hated me and my family,” she says.

At 12 years old, she started doing drugs, drinking and getting arrested. By 16, she was pregnant with her first daughter, Kylee, but her family encouraged her to finish high school and go to college. “I was lucky,” she remembers. “I got an associate’s degree in criminal justice.”

In college, Dominique worked as a club dancer and developed a cocaine addiction. After a series of bad decisions and toxic relationships, she moved to Colorado for a fresh start. But soon, she started abusing prescription medications. In 2011, her second daughter, Isabella, was born.

After getting a job with an attorney, she was arrested for a DUI and ultimately fired. To survive, she chose to deal drugs and committed several felonies.

Soon, her probation was revoked, and she went to jail. After her release, she found a part-time job but stole from the company’s clients to buy drugs. Before anyone discovered what was going on, she quit her job and moved back to Arizona.

After dropping Isabella off at a friend’s house one day, Dominique was pulled over by the police and arrested. In her car, the police found drug paraphernalia and eight bottles of prescription pills. “I thought it was no big deal,” she says. But to her surprise, she had a felony fugitive warrant out of Colorado. Her past had finally caught up with her.

For several days, no one knew what happened to her. Thankfully, her sister brought Isabella home with her to Colorado Springs, while Kylee lived with her father in Arizona.

Finally, Dominique was extradited to Colorado and offered a plea deal for 6 years in prison. But by the time she got out, Isabella would almost be a teenager, and Kylee would already be an adult. “I was devastated,” she says. “That was the point I realized I needed God’s help.”

Unbelievably, the court gave her probation instead, and she called her sister and best friend to find a place to stay. But they refused. They both agreed to stop enabling her.

They wanted Dominique to get help, so they told her about the Steps to Success program at Fort Collins Rescue Mission. She knew she could just as easily call her drug dealer, but she was tired of that life. She wanted to see her daughters again. In November 2014, she arrived in Fort Collins ready for a change.

At the Mission, she met with her case manager, Amy, regularly. They set up a schedule for her to attend drug and alcohol programs, Bible studies, LifeSkills classes, work therapy, and case management sessions. She was determined to change her habits and attitudes. “I needed to understand why I used drugs, and why I did the things I did before,” she says. “God allowed me to take the time to learn those things at the Mission.”

The program also helped Dominique connect with Foundations Church in Loveland, where she now regularly attends a women’s group. She says the opportunities to serve others help her stay sober and her new relationship with God keeps her focused. “I have to get into my Bible. It’s my medication now,” she says.

And the classes at the Mission helped her learn God does care about her and has a better plan for her life. Initially, she was afraid her felonies would prevent her from finding a job, but in March she was hired as an Administrative Assistant Transaction Coordinator for a large real estate company.

Although Kylee and Isabella still live in Arizona and Colorado Springs, Dominique is able to talk with them regularly. And Kylee is even coming up to Fort Collins for the summer. “I couldn’t be happier,” she says smiling. “I’m excited to have my daughters back someday and be a mom again. I miss that. And I’m excited because now I’m actually going to be present in their lives.”

God is working out His plans in Dominique’s life, and in a way, it started with someone like you making it possible for us to be there when she was ready to get help. Without your financial support and donations making our ministry possible, many of our guests might never learn how to end destructive patterns in their lives and rebuild healthy relationships. Thank you for helping us make this kind of life change possible.

Donate today and help us show our homeless and struggling neighbors God has better plans for their lives.

CLN July 2015

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Dominique's story was featured in the issue of Changing Lives titled ""

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