“I’m leaning on God and trying to be open to wherever He leads.”

Jada grew up in a broken home. Her parents divorced when she was two, and though her dad had custody, she was primarily raised by her grandparents.


The only time Jada saw her mother was on the weekends. But her mom wasn’t a good influence, and they didn’t have a healthy mother-daughter relationship. “My first time ever smoking marijuana was with my mom,” she says. “I’ve used drugs with her quite a few times over the course of my life.”

Jada left home when she was 16, and began working full-time to support herself. She dropped out of college after the first few weeks and worked at a bartending job for years – surrounded by drugs, alcohol and parties. When she left that environment and her abusive ex-husband, Jada and her son had nowhere to go. They lived in her car until she heard about the safe shelter at Holland Rescue Mission.

“I began to open my heart to the possibility of renewing my relationship with the Lord. Though I had a lot of anger, it was hard not to let God’s love wash over me with the welcome and compassion the Mission staff showed me.” Jada entered our Gateway Program, a work-based program that allowed her to still care for her son, and was delighted to be able to spend more time with him after years of conflicting schedules during her time working in bars.

“I accepted God’s love, and it freed me from the anger and hurt I’d been carrying for so long.”

Today, Jada has gained the confidence and courage to go back to college and get her degree in communications. After graduating Gateway, Jada and her son plan to enter our Transitional Housing Program for an extra year of support before they move out on their own. “My son is my priority, and I’m taking this time to reconnect and strengthen our bond as a family.”

This Easter, Jada and her son will be celebrating the beautiful new beginning in their life – made possible by your generous support. “Having God in my life has given me a peace and calm that has transformed me inside and out. Now the Mission is my family.”