Jessica, Residential Intern

Before Lighthouse, Jessica had a great childhood. She grew up in nearby Frostproof, and felt both loved and supported by her family. It wasn’t until she was an adult and her mother passed away that she sank into an addiction to painkillers. Jessica lost control of her life. She lost her job, her house, and her ability to take care of her two children. She was at risk of losing custody of them before she decided to join a program that would help her regain control of her life.

Jessica joined our program in May 2011 and accepted Christ as her Savior on Mother’s Day of the same year. She has found structure and support here. Her children, Jorge and Destiny, have also experienced what a difference a life of stability and encouragement can make. Jessica completed the NOVA Program (through the Adult Learning Center), and she’s planning on working towards a culinary degree at Victory Trade School after she completes the program.

Jessica loves working at the Lakeland H.O.P.E Center, especially since her background is in retail. “It really surprised me because everything that is in the stores has come from people that are donating to help us to get our lives together, to give us hope, and for funding. God picked me to be in the perfect position to work. I get to see people come in, day after day, and [we’re] there to help them to get clothes and food.”

Now that she’s here, Jessica recognizes the immense need she had before joining the program. “Lighthouse is everything I needed: childcare, education, saving money, a schedule, routine. I didn’t know where to find it, and it was here at Lighthouse.”