Renewal Story: Lisa

Posted: March 13, 2023

When the new millennium began, Lisa was living the American dream. She lived in a beautiful home in the Silicon Valley region of California with her husband and two children. The family was secure and the new century held endless possibilities.

But after 9/11, the boom in Silicon Valley went bust. Lisa's husband lost his job. Even with Lisa working, they couldn't make their house payments. The family moved to Texas in 2003 for a fresh start, but that took a downturn several years later when Lisa was injured in a car accident. After back surgery followed by three painful years of recovery, she was dealt another blow: her husband filed for divorce.

"I couldn't fight back," Lisa recalls. "My husband got the house and the car, and I wasn't working. It was very hard." Lisa lived with a friend for a couple of years and eventually moved in with her daughter and son-in-law. But they were having problems of their own and when they lost their apartment, Lisa was homeless.

Then she found Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County. As an overnight guest, she says, "It was calm and peaceful here."

Three months later, Lisa joined our resident program. "I realized exactly what was going on in my life," she says. "I didn't have any boundaries." She recognized that growing up in a hostile environment with an often absent mother and two alcoholic stepfathers led to heavy drug use in her youth.

More importantly, Lisa learned how to overcome her past and work toward a productive, stable future. “I'm 60 years old, and I want to get back out there,” she tells us. "I want to work, have my own place and do some traveling." As of this writing, Lisa has applied for a job at the Federal Building in downtown Fort Worth. She has been saving money for a car and a place of her own.

Lisa would like to help others find their way to independence as a volunteer at UGM-TC. "This is the best place to get your life together. There's no judgment. It's like a big family!"


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