As a child, Jacqueline grew up with “the best of everything,” she says. She went to the best schools, traveled to exotic places and was well-loved. “Life was handed to me on a silver platter,” the 26-year old single mom recalls. “Everything was beautiful.”
When she graduated from high school, her plan was to go into the medical field. But she got married and pregnant before she finished school. It was a rocky marriage from the start. Then her life spiraled out of control in January 2013, when she lost her job, and lost custody of her 3-year-old son, due to circumstances outside of her control.
Emotionally spent and unable to find work, Jacqueline found herself homeless, living with friends. Then in January 2014, she discovered she was pregnant again. “It just seemed like the whole world caved in on me,” she says. “I felt so alone and stuck, and didn't know what to do. I needed help.” With no other options, Jacqueline came to Joy House. “As soon as I walked through those doors, I could feel the warmth. It felt like love was all over this place.”
The daily structure of Joy House helped Jacqueline take the first steps toward putting her life back together. Then classes helped her gain confidence and needed skills to find work and manage her finances. But she says everything really changed when she gave her life to Jesus Christ. “I surrendered and asked Him to take control,” she recalls. “It made a huge difference. Ever since, I've felt like I'm growing into a woman. I feel His presence all over me.
“I needed help, and the people here gave that to me. They care about me, and they're helping me grow. Everything is getting better and better.”
Today, Jacqueline is planning on returning to school to finally earn her degree in nursing. And she's making plans to regain custody of her son. “Thanks to Joy House, I feel happy and hopeful for the first time in a long time,” she says.