While in the program, Rebecca gets space at the shelter to call her own. Though her goal is to save enough to find an apartment, she's made it homey in the meantime!

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At the age of 15, Rebecca was kicked out of her parents' home in Fort Collins. High school was emotionally challenging, and she acted out by stealing their car to run away. This began a three-year cycle of foster homes, correctional centers, and treatment facilities. “I think everything went wrong when I was emancipated from the system. I got an apartment in Sterling, CO. I had no one out there… no friends, no experience ever living by myself, no transportation. I lost my job at the local McDonald's. I met some people who used meth, and it became an all day, every day thing,” remembers Rebecca.

This was her first introduction to hard drugs, and it stuck. She was only 18 years old, and her social circle quickly filled with people who encouraged her habits. She spent her 20s working various jobs, moving from place to place and sleeping on the streets when necessary. She got married, had two children—both of whom she decided to give up for adoption—and suffered through the tragic suicide of her husband.

Rebecca had finally reached a breaking point. After spending nearly half of her life on the streets and doing drugs, she decided it was time to move on: “I thought, ‘What is it going to take for me to be successful and be happy with myself?’ Nothing was working. I had so many dead end jobs that didn’t pay well. I lost hope that I would ever have a house. I saw that people who had an education were more successful. And I thought school would help me stop my addiction.”

So she took a leap of faith and enrolled at Front Range Community College for the fall semester of 2012. The first couple weeks were very difficult for her, and she considered dropping out. She was living with friends, away from community. In October 2012, she decided to come to the former Open Door Mission and stayed there while taking classes. “I came because people were doing drugs out there. I needed to get away, and I stayed because I wanted to get on my feet,” says Rebecca.

She remained through the transition to Fort Collins Rescue Mission: “I was really excited to hear what the focus of the Steps to Success program was—giving people hope and getting them back on their feet in a Christian environment. I think that the program's really good; it does good things. I had the desire to better myself so the program has been a great experience for me.”

“Without Fort Collins Rescue Mission, I would still be using, and I wouldn’t be in school,” explains Rebecca. She is focused on saving enough money to get a place of her own, and is excited about taking more classes and giving herself a chance at a more stable life!

CLN June 2013

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Rebeccas story was featured in the June 2013 issue of Changing Lives titled "Turning It Around"

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