Making A Difference That Matters

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Robert craves stability after jail time and ‘losing everything’

When Robert’s parents divorced when he was 16, things started to change for the teenager. Robert had enjoyed an uneventful childhood, growing up in Santa Barbara, and then Lompoc, with his parents and two little sisters. His dad was in construction and his mom was a secretary. But after the divorce, Robert came back to…

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Two years after graduation, Jairo’s family of 10 is settled together

Back in April 2018, Jairo ended up at the Mission—and he wasn’t happy about it. He was coming off of a six-month sentence for burglary charges, and was court-ordered to come to a program after completing the jail time. “When I first got here, I really didn’t like it,” Jairo said. “I didn’t like the…

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While to-go meals will replace banquet, we still seek to reach people

Although COVID-19 has caused us to shift our plans a bit as we consider the safety of those we serve, we remain committed to provide Thanksgiving meals during a time when food security is impacting more families in our community than ever before. On Nov. 20th, we will host our Thanksgiving event in a to-go…

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After opening a bible for the first time, Nicolas wants to know more

Nicolas was born in Mexico and came to the United States when he was 15 with his brothers and his mother. “I started going to school and working at the same time,” he said. “I got to 12th grade, but didn’t graduate. I didn’t have enough credits.” Nicolas had started smoking marijuana toward the end…

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Chuck owns his ‘bad choices,’ focuses on spiritual growth

When Chuck reflects on his upbringing in Santa Maria, he has nothing but positive things to say. The decisions he made are on him. “I grew up in a good family and had a good childhood,” he said. “I had every opportunity afforded to kids—I just made some bad choices.” Chuck start drinking in high…

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Don stops running from himself and commits to lifelong change

Don’s issues with alcohol started early, in high school, but if anyone noticed, they turned a blind eye. “I grew up in Iowa in a lower- to middle-class family,” Don said. “I was baptized Episcopalian, but we went to church irregularly, on the holidays mostly. I was good in school, and when I got to…

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Tony tires of disappointing his family, himself

Tony’s parents came from Mexico before he was born, and he was born and raised in Santa Maria. “I’ve lived here my whole life,” he said. “I’m the oldest, and have three younger sisters. I had a good childhood, and had everything I wanted. My parents treated me well and were both Christians, so I…

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The Mission has ‘changed the way I see things’

It’s been a year since Fernando graduated the mission’s Life Recovery program, and looking back, he hardly recognizes the person he used to be. “This program has helped me realize that I can live a new life,” he said. “There’s something else, another kind of living. I don’t need any of that stuff (drugs) to…

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Witnessing change, recognizing rewards at the Mission

One of the joys of working at the Mission is that I can be myself around our clients. We have a comfy rec area where our clients can relax, watch TV, or play cards. I enjoy shooting the breeze with clients on the couches in this room, talking about stuff that doesn’t matter. One of…

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Harrison wants change, became ‘too comfortable on the streets’

Harrison and his biological sister were adopted by the same loving parents. They adopted his older sister, and when Harrison’s biological mother got pregnant again three years later, she reached out to the family. Harrison joined his older sister with his new parents. They worked for the phone company and cared deeply for their children.…

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Denis feels ‘more dedicated’ this time through the program

Denis, now 27, is the oldest of four. “I’ve always had my parents to support me,” he said. Dennis and his family moved around a lot in the Central Coast area, but he considers Carpinteria home. He attended school there, but was behind in elementary school and didn’t pass the seventh grade. “They sent me…

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Robert sees miracles in his family restoration

When Robert reflects on his time in the Mission’s program, and the year-and-a-half since his graduation, he speaks of restoration. “I am a big believer in recovery and amends,” he said. “It’s God’s way of showing me he’s with me and loves me, and that this is his will for my life. I’m able to…

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