Salvation Story No. 2: Hope Restored for Once-Suicidal Woman in Orlando
By: Tiffani Jett, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

Melissa was raised in a household with an alcoholic and abusive father.  When she was 16 years of age, her mother kicked her out of the house, forcing her to live on the streets. She married a man who was not unlike her father and often called her “Gutter Trash.” Alcohol and drugs directed her life for years. Three years ago, in an attempt to take her life, she injected heroin and cocaine directly into the artery in her wrist.  She was in the hospital for months in an effort to save her hand, however it was eventually amputated.

After one failed relationship after another, she found herself sitting on a highway overpass in Orlando, ready to jump. During the 45 minutes she sat there reviewing her life, nobody stopped to check on her. However, in thinking of her three children, she decided against ending her life. As Hurricane Matthew threatened the area this past fall, she sought shelter at The Salvation Army of Orlando’s Women’s & Children’s Shelter.  She entered the Interim Housing program and since doing so, has attained full-time employment and has applied to a local college to study architecture. Now that she is rebuilding her life, she hopes to one day build buildings! She says “This is the first time in my life people really care for me.  Their belief in me has helped me to believe in myself.”

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