Melissa and her children were living out of a car. With your help, they now have stability and HOPE!

Melissa was trapped in a nightmare.

Her husband, an alcoholic, moved to Oklahoma and promised Melissa things would get better if she and her five kids moved out there with him. “I thought it was the last chance to save our family,” says Melissa.

She quit her nursing assistant job, packed up her beautiful home, and drove 19 hours away, only to find out it was a trap. Melissa realized she made a huge mistake.

The situation grew drastically worse. Her husband became more and more verbally abusive, belittling, and manipulative. “My kids never went to bed peacefully,” says Melissa. “They’d tell me, ‘Let’s just go. Anything’s better than this.’”


On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Melissa got the kids ready to flee. Her husband forgot it was a holiday and left for work. She told her kids, “Pack your bags. We’re taking the bare minimum and we’ll start over when we get to Ohio.”

Melissa knew her husband wouldn’t drive very far before remembering he had the day off. She and her kids had a 5-minute window to get into the car and leave before he turned around. “If we had waited a minute longer, it would’ve forever ruined our chances of getting out,” says Melissa.

Before they’d left, Melissa’s husband had drained all of her accounts. If it wasn’t for her 15-year-old daughter, they wouldn’t have had any money to make it to Ohio. “She gave me $200 and said, ‘I’ve been saving this from birthdays and Christmases,’” says Melissa.


There was no beautiful home or steady job waiting for them in Ohio. Melissa and her kids had no choice but to live out of their car.

“We were the family that sat inside the McDonald’s Playland but didn’t have money to buy a happy meal,” says Melissa. “Workers would notice and bring the kids something to eat. It was embarrassing.”

Melissa was trying as hard as she could. Her kids would tell her, “It’s okay, someone else doesn’t have a car to sleep in.”

Yet, as much of a shock as it was to live out of their car, it was better than being trapped in an abusive home. “My kids hadn’t seen me smile in the longest time. It was physically worse but mentally better,” says Melissa.

When space at the Mission’s Harvest Home opened up, Melissa and her kids found everything they needed to start over — food, clothing, emotional support, and more. “My kids aren’t hungry anymore and go to sleep peacefully every night,” she says.


Melissa is working again, and her family is waiting to move into their beautiful new home. But most important, they now know God’s love. “My 4-year-old son talks about superheroes and how God is the most super of them all,” she says. “He tells me, ‘He’s the One who got you that job and house.’”

Thanks to your kindness, Melissa was able to regain her confidence, find stability, and learn to trust in the Lord. “I don’t look at myself the same anymore,” says Melissa. “You help us remember we are strong.”

Your Gift of $115 helps 60 people
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