Merci’s Story

Beginning at the age of 12, a drug addiction slowly unwound Merci Rickett’s lifeSurrounded by a home of dysfunction, neglect, and substance abuse, this was the only life she knew.  

Drugs that began as a gateway to social acceptance grew into a means of coping with her turbulent lifenumbing her hurt and insecurities. This addiction gripped Merci off and on in her teens and early 20s.  

She was clean for a span of 15 yearsbut all of that was undone in one day when a job accident landed Merci on painkillers, and the addiction picked up where it left offDownward her life spiraled further to the point of joblessness, homelessness, and severed relationships, including those of her two children 

“[My husband and I] were living in our car,” says Merci. “Things just got so bad that he left, and I wound up staying in hotel rooms for a few nights.” With no other options, Merci looked up local shelters in a phone book. She arrived at Simonka Place desperate for a new start

Merci and her mentor Alma

“Black. So much sorrow. Angry. Just dead, I was dead in my sins,” says Merci, describing who she was before God led her to Simonka Place in March of 2018But through the compassionate UGM workers, and God’s perfect grace, she encountered a healing love she had never known.  

Since then, Merci completed our New Life Fellowship recovery program and has fully surrendered her life to Christ, making her brand new. Motivated by the hope of a future, she’s in pursuit of a career caring for animals, and her life goals span in front of her.

[UGM has] prepared me with counselors to help me with getting all that started,” says Merci, who’s feeling more equipped to go back out into the world.  

Her relationship with her kids is now, also, being restored. “My son actually wants me to come spend the night and my daughter looks forward to spending time with me now.” 

Even when everything is wrongwhen God seems so distant and our mistakeseem too big, He is always working, and there is always hopeI didn’t see it at the time, but now I see His hand through all of it,” says Merci. “He gives us a new beginning.”   

You can help us change the face of homelessness by giving people like Merci new beginnings. Give today.

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