Turning Trauma to Healing and Wholeness…

Tiffany & George’s Story: 

Tiffany and her 8-year-old son, George, are two of the 685 women and children who stayed at Rockford Rescue Mission’s Women’s Crisis Center in 2019. Sadly, Tiffany’s story of trauma is all too common.

Trapped in a toxic relationship, her life was threatened at the hands of her fiancé. “All of a sudden he had me on the floor and was choking me in front of George,” she says.

Tiffany knew she had to leave. But she didn’t feel strong enough to do it on her own. She was relieved when her adult daughter told her about Rockford Rescue Mission. “She said it was a nice shelter… a place that could help make me strong.”

When Tiffany and George arrived at our Crisis Center, she said, “I was welcomed with open arms, and everyone has been so loving.” But her pathway to independence hasn’t been smooth. She struggles to find a place to live because of the information required, documents she left behind when she was forced to flee her home. “And I don’t have a car and the bus schedule doesn’t always coincide with my appointments, so I have to arrive hours early sometimes.”

While discouraged with the process of finding a home, Tiffany believes Rockford Rescue Mission has given her a new outlook on life. “I am loved here. I can breathe again. I am not only protected by the staff when I walk through these doors, but also by God. I am thankful to be here but ready to find a home. Someone else in need or danger needs my bed here.”


Matt’s Story:

As a junior in high school, Matt joined the Army Reserves to escape the mental and verbal abuse he received at home. But in a military

environment, he faced different kinds of challenges. “It was tough… real tough,” he recalls. For relief: “I got really good at drinking.”

His alcohol abuse continued when he returned home. After he was awarded a sizable insurance settlement from a car accident, addiction consumed his life.

“I quit my job and started partying until the money ran out, and I ended up homeless and panhandling. It got pretty rough, pretty fast,” he says about his emotional, physical and spiritual spiral to rock bottom.

Finally, after several suicide attempts, a social worker guided Matt to Rockford Rescue Mission for the long-term help he needed to end his self-destructive habits. In our Life Recovery Program, his faith is growing through fellowship with other guests and trauma-focused guidance from our Mission staff. Now he finds joy in helping others overcome addiction.

“One thing they teach you in the military is self-reliance – that you can do it. But by myself, I can’t,” he says. “At the Rockford Rescue Mission, I gave up trying to do it on my own, because it never worked. When I remove myself from the equation and put it in God’s hands, it’s a lot easier. I’m getting better and better and better with who I am.”


For the Summer 2020 issue of The Rescuer, click here.