Roslyn's Story

“Life or death . . . and I chose life.”


Addicted, homeless, and having just lost her kids, Roslyn found love and acceptance at the Mission and the will to turn her life around.

Roslyn was known on the streets as Crack Head.

“They used to call me Dope Fiend; they used to call me Crack Head. But you know what? I’ve got a new name now, and God gave it to me.” Roslyn wipes away tears as she recalls where she’s come from and where she is today.

At her church and the Renton nursing home where she ministers in worship and the word, her name is Sister Roslyn. At Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission where she worked the front desk and prayed with hundreds of people over the course of 25 years, she’s simply Ros.

She came in first as a client, a guest at the Mission’s Women and Family Shelter when it was on Fifth and King. Out of options, she was a drug addict and fresh out of jail for dealing. Her kids had been taken from her. And she was homeless.

Her mother raised her to be better than that. And when Roslyn found herself sleeping in the doorway of Smith Tower in downtown Seattle, she remembered, and she cried out to God. He told her that she would have her children back when she began to serve him.

Roslyn went through court-ordered rehab and the Mission’s program of recovery. Through counseling, she learned to forgive and let go of bitterness and hatred. She began to volunteer at the shelter, then accepted a permanent job at the front desk.

A year after coming to the Mission, Roslyn fully surrendered her life to Christ. Soon after, her girls came to live with her at the Mission’s shelter and they moved into their own apartment. It had been nine months since she initially heard the Lord’s voice to serve him.

“I was really ready to give up the world,” Roslyn says. “There’s nothing out there for me; there’s nothing good out there. It was either life or death for me. I was going to go to prison or die, and I chose life. And life is in Christ Jesus. My mother taught me that. But my head was hard. I got stubborn and didn’t listen. But I’ve been listening ever since, and God’s been good to me through the years, He’s really taken care of me. I’ve had my ups and downs, but I trust him. That’s all I can do.” 


“I was going to go to prison or die, and I chose life.” 

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