Photograph by Maggie Lynn


Choosing Change: Stephanie’s Story

Drugs. Disability. Domestic violence. Each is a cause of homelessness – all three together can lead to a life of hopelessness. Thanks to those who give generously to Union Mission, help was available when Stephanie was ready to choose change.

Stephanie had a major stroke at the age of 18, just three months after graduating high school. As she recovered, she struggled with the physical and emotional pain of her disability. Her violent marriage and many failed pregnancies only compounded her pain.

To ease her suffering, Stephanie began to use drugs. On the streets, her disability made her a target for assault and the injuries she suffered would lead her right back to using drugs to dull the pain. This vicious cycle consumed her life.


Stephanie can still recall when she hit the darkest part of her road. In and out of prison, in and out of violent relationships, struggling with drug addiction and a positive HIV diagnosis, she lay in the dark and said, “Lord, this life is not getting me nowhere.” The next day, a woman was found dead on her doorstep and Stephanie knew it was a sign that she had to get help and change her life for good.

She reached out to her mother who helped her find her first drug rehabilitation support. Once she finished her in-patient recovery, she was accepted as a resident at transitional housing in Union Mission’s Phoenix Project. This program for people living with HIV/AIDS provided

Stephanie with more than just shelter. Through Union Mission, she also received food, counseling, and HIV medication management. She credits this comprehensive support with giving her the strength to cope.

“They have really helped me by helping me to help myself,” Stephanie says.

With the support of Union Mission, Stephanie now has a life filled with hope. She is four years sober, married, and she and her husband have purchased their first home.

Stephanie and her husband

Your support ensures our life-changing programs continue to be available to help people like Stephanie as they rebuild their lives and change our community for the better.

Help Change Lives at Union Mission

Your donation can help someone just like Stephanie choose a life of hope and help them leave homelessness behind. Your gift today means a brighter future for those we serve, their families, and our whole community.