“I feel like I’ve never succeeded at anything in my life.” Looking back, Deana saw a series of failures that began with her first drink as a teenager. She dropped out of high school. Her marriage ended and she lost custody of her children. She went to jail. And when she tried to deal with her addiction on her own, that failed too.

“I took four buses to my sister’s house and showed up on her doorstep,” Deana recalls. “In less than a week we found out about Simonka Place for Women and Children. I’ve been here ever since.”

At Simonka Place, Deana finally got a taste of success and it was sweet. “I’ve never been sober for more than 30 days until I got here. Now I’m seven months sober,” she tells us. “And it’s by God’s strength, not my own.”

The New Life Fellowship program gave Deana the support and resources she needed to overcome her addiction and make plans for her future. “I’m feeling more complete and I know that I can finally move on to the next chapter in my life. I’ve been stuck for so long and I didn’t realize how stuck I was.”

As Deana progressed in the program, she deepened her friendship with God. “He’s been on my side through all of my difficulties. It’s wonderful.” Deana also has her mother and her children by her side once more.

Today, Deana is working toward completing her GED and hopes to write about her experiences at Simonka Place. “This is the one place that I’ve found where I have true family that sticks by me no matter what. They don’t judge me. I came here broken and they opened their arms to me. I feel accepted here.”

Deana thanks you for making UGM and Simonka Place available for her and for making her recovery possible. “Whenever I need someone to talk to, they are there to help me and guide me,” Deana says. “I am not longer an addict because Jesus has set me free.”

Check out other stories of hope in our upcoming newsletter and on our blog, 365 Days of Hope.

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