ShellinaFrom a young age, Shellina was left alone long hours after school — her single mother busy selling drugs on the Seattle streets.
From a young age, Shellina was left alone long hours after school — her single mother busy selling drugs on the Seattle streets. Shellina, along with her eight siblings, learned to fend for themselves. To remarkably carry on. To survive.
But with her mother never home, it wasn’t long before Shellina turned to drugs herself. To numb the pain. To cover up the loneliness. “I started at 14, smoking weed and drinking, and then when I hit 16, that’s when I started smoking PCP,” Shellina recalls.
“I started at 14, smoking weed and drinking . . .”
In spite of her frequent drug use, Shellina tried to stay in school. She wanted to graduate. To make a better life for herself. But at 16, Shellina got pregnant. “I stopped going to school,” Shellina says. “And I began being a mother.” Somehow, Shellina was hopeful that starting a family would be a new beginning for her. That life would be different. Better. But things didn’t change. In fact, they got worse . . .
For the next 16 years, Shellina stayed in an abusive relationship with the father of her children. “I was in this relationship from hell. I tried to keep my relationship together for my children,” she cries. Until one day, Shellina caught him trying to sexually assault their daughter. And she’d had enough! “It was one thing he was hurting me . . . but our child. That’s when I did what a real parent would do. I put him in jail where he needed to be.”
Life was spiraling out of control
It took tremendous courage for Shellina to protect her children. She was free from her abusive relationship. It felt like things were coming together. But her addiction, what she used to cope against the violence, was out of control. And she ended up on the streets . . . “Because of my addiction,” shares Shellina, “I started to lose everything. I didn’t want to live anymore.” In a deep depression, Shellina had nowhere to turn.
“I started a new chapter in my life.”
But then, she heard about the Mission. “I was able to move into Hope Place. That’s when I started a new chapter in my life,” she says. Today, thanks to the Mission’s program, Shellina’s set a foot toward a new beginning — an achievement in life she always wanted to happen. She’s found emotional healing, breakthrough from her drug addition, and most important, started a personal relationship with Jesus. “Christ has really walked alongside me this whole time. I have my life back,” says Shellina. “God has put my pieces back together.”
“Christ has really walked alongside me this whole time. I have my life back.”
Because of you, people like Shellina, who were stuck in a cycle of addiction and abuse, have hope for the future!
But there are so many others who need a chance to experience the same freedom.