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Time to Get Out Your Purple Purse!

For the third year running, Saint John’s will be participating in the Purple Purse Challenge, a 31-day national campaign that unites nonprofits in a competition to raise funds for life-changing services to help domestic violence survivors. Sponsored by the Allstate Foundation, one of our strongest supporters, this fundraising effort is held each year throughout the month of October, recognized nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Some eye-opening, heart-wrenching statistics that…

Graduate & Class Representative Julianna M.

Julianna’s Story

Julianna came to Saint John’s straight from treatment on September 18th, 2017, as there was no other place to go. Coming from a life of domestic violence and addiction, her partner was incarcerated for attacking her in her seventh month of pregnancy. And because of her addiction, CPS took custody of her children, and gave her little to no hope that she would ever get them back. Reunification, they told…

Alumnae Lucy G. Photo courtesy of Brenda Bisharat photrography.

Lucy’s Story

Suffering from depression and PTSD, Lucy was lost – to herself and to her children – and ended up self-medicating, and self-destructing, with drugs and alcohol. After finding the strength to enter rehab, and celebrating six-months sobriety, she knew she needed more. Finding Saint John’s was her salvation. “Saint John’s changed everything for me,” observes Lucy. “Life is still scary at times, but now I can deal with it. Saint…

Alumna Lupe S. ~ Photo courtesy of Brenda Bisharat Photography

Lupe’s Story

Living couch to couch and abusing drugs, Lupe knew she had to make a change, but she faced unforgiving stigmas in her traditional Mexican family. She was at the point where she was going to lose her kids. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired! Lupe faced her fears and stood up against the threat of her family disowning her. I just said, “This is where I…

On November 4th, 2017, Mandy and her children shared their story at our annual fundraiser Party for Change.

Mandy’s Story

I met with Mandy at Saint John’s and was immediately overwhelmed by the feeling that everything would be OK. Mandy’s quiet strength and honest gaze just made me feel safe. What’s remarkable is how far she’s come in just a short amount of time. It was a little over two years ago on Christmas day that this beautiful mother of six children was balled up in the corner of a…

Photo courtesy of Brenda Bisharat.

Jamie’s Story

Jamie was worried that her abusive roommate and want-to-be suitor would soon turn on her young daughter. She was repeatedly turned down at shelters because her abuser was not her partner, until she found Saint John’s. “Saint John’s changed my life,” says Jamie. “When I walked in, I thought it was beautiful. I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” While in the program, Jamie lost her daughter’s father in a…

Jennifer R.  - Saint John's Alumna. Photo courtesy of Brenda Bisharat.

Jennifer’s Success Story

Following the death of her beloved mother and having her son survive a stabbing that left him permanently blind in one eye, Jennifer found herself homeless at 40 years old, and suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). She became agoraphobic — afraid of stepping outside– and afraid of even letting her daughter walk to school by herself. Jennifer and her young daughter resorted to wandering the streets of Sacramento, sleeping…

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Saint John’s – A Symphony of Moving Parts

When Catia Saraiva-Munoz discovered Saint John’s Program for Real Change in her quest to partner with a community-based non-profit, she was more than impressed by what she found. “This is not a typical charity that provides food and shelter to the homeless,” explains Saraiva-Munoz. “This program delivers tangible results. It addresses all of the many facets that lead to homelessness including unemployment, mental health, parenting skills, addiction, domestic violence and…

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Erika’s Success Story

There is a Walmart parking lot in North Sacramento where Erika and her 12 year-old daughter Gabby spent some nights. They had free Wi-Fi and Erika would let Gabby play on her phone to pass the time. Homeless off and on for almost five years, every day was an exercise in survival. Erika and Gabby would slip into the bathroom at Walmart to wash up, hoping none of the store…

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Maria’s Story

She remembered it like it was yesterday – the events of that night forever seared into her memory. Maria, a former addict, thought she was finally getting her life together. After living crammed in a van with family members for four months, including her sister and the father of her child, she had finally scraped up enough money to get an apartment. Unfortunately, the sense of relief she felt was…

Adrianna Kathleen Granlund

Adrianna’s Story

If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies – Anonymous I had the pleasure to sit and chat with Adrianna, a graduate of Saint John’s Program for Real Change, and soon came to realize that she is an incredible example of how to overcome adversity through perseverance and faith. My first thought, upon hearing her story, was that it would have been easy for Adrianna to give up. A…

Wendy

Wendy’s Story

“It started with the electricity being turned off,” says Wendy, a mom of two and a resident of the Saint John’s Program for Real Change. Within one month of the lights going off, Child Protective Services (CPS) showed up at the kids’ school even though they were both showered and fed. What could have precipitated such a swift response from CPS? When I sat down with Wendy to discuss how…

Kaira (left), after receiving her high school diploma -
 another step towards real change!

Kaira’s Story

As we begin a new year I would like to invite you to meet someone who has given me a completely different perspective on my life. And this is by no means a temporary effect, it is daily. I think about her daily.  When I visited the program at Saint John’s in December I had never been to the facilities. I had been to the fundraisers and was incredibly touched…

Natisha

Natisha’s Story

“I had a happy childhood,” Natisha began. It was an upbringing she shared with two half siblings, her mom and her grandmother – both functioning substance abusers, a habit Natisha would seemingly inherit years later as she veered away from her happy beginnings down what was soon to become a dark path. At 18, following her high school graduation, Natisha got a job, married and flirted briefly with crack cocaine….

Simona

Simona’s Story

Jan. 2016 – Simona had hit rock bottom—emotionally and financially. The crash was painful. Over the course of 16 days, she had left an abusive boyfriend and watched her father take his last breath. Then she did what she had always thought was elusive, she stopped drinking. Simona finally faced herself brutally and honestly. She wanted change and is now five months (as of Dec. 2017) into Saint John’s Program…

Teach a Person to Fish & They Eat for a Lifetime

I heard about Saint John’s from a couple at my church, Fair Oaks Presbyterian, who have been helping prepare and serve dinner at Saint John’s for 10+ years. They bring various family and friends with them to serve the monthly taco night at Saint John’s, which I have heard is one of the clients’ favorite dinners! My husband and I knew we wanted to serve people and we like to…

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HomeAid Sacramento-People Building the Way Home

Saint John’s Program for Real Change is known for inspiring almost magical, personal transformations within the women and children who temporarily call its facilities “home.” Living and learning in the safe and nurturing environment of the sanctuary buildings and grounds, Saint John’s Program participants enjoy the support they need to rebuild and transition their lives. Personal improvement is celebrated, positively ongoing and, at its best, generational. These wonderful life-affirming impacts…

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Family & Relationship Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The meaning of domestic violence and our struggle to understand, intervene, and treat the injury and aftermath continues to evolve. Advancing from the early definition of the man who abuses his wife physically, the breadth of domestic violence awareness has grown to better capture how violence in familial relationships impacts the victim, survivor, abuser, and radiates out to family members and social relationships. We…

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The First Steps to Success

Like all of the women at Saint John’s Program for Real Change, Sandy and Starr share common qualities – courage, resiliency and strength. And, like all of the women who step through the red door at Saint John’s, they have had their share of adversity and despondency including depression, drug and alcohol dependence, abusive relationships, dysfunctional families, and homelessness. But at the heart of their stamina is a belief in…

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The Red Door Stories-Alicia

An innocent, newborn baby…what, exactly, did Mikhayla do to deserve the cruel life she was given? Why did she have to endure a world of such pain few of us can fathom, from the day she was born? The ninth child in a hopelessly broken family, the cold, cruel answer is…nothing. Nothing at all. Like all children, her lot in life was not of her own choosing. Her innocence became…

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The Red Door Stories-Sabrina

At just nineteen young years of age, Sabrina found herself sleeping under a bridge, alone in the cold, and pregnant. Born into a world filled with alcoholism, drug abuse, and violence, she had never known a life without utter chaos. And now, she too was bringing another new life into that same dark place. As a child, she vividly remembers her father chasing her mother through the house, screaming at…

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Launching a New Life – Saint John’s 2016 Graduation

Written by Rob Stewart     This will be tough. Tough to put into words the powerful, life altering, joyous event I and hundreds of others had the pleasure to witness last week, the 2016 Employment Training Graduation of Saint John’s Program for Real Change. I have been emceeing events for 20 years, mostly in the past five years here in Northern California. I do not compare events. Each has…

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Grantee Develops Big Data for Big Change

Originally posted at www.wheatridge.org   In March 2016, Amy was at the lowest point of her life. Recently released from Sierra Vista Mental Health center after attempting suicide, she knew she needed something different to break her 15-year cycle of addiction. “I just couldn’t go to another recovery home,” she remembers. “I thought: this is it for me.” And that’s when an online search brought up Saint John’s Program for…

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Why is Real Change So Difficult?

written by David Flanagan   Many people celebrate the new year by writing down a list of new goals and resolutions for change — I’m going to lose ten pounds. I’m going to be a better parent. I’m going to wake up earlier and go running. And more often than not, even the most well-meaning advocate for change somehow finds themselves right back where they started, living each day like…

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Documenting Real Change with Elisha

I am nervous. I am about to meet Elisha, a 33-year old mother of four and a participant in Saint John’s Program for Real Change. I have been asked to document her life story. Perhaps she is as nervous to share her history as I am to chronicle it. Founded in 1985, the Sacramento-based Saint John’s program has been providing women like Elisha with the support and resources to escape…

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The Gift of Recovery: My Story

Written by Paul Mitchell   April 29, 1987. It was a Wednesday, two days after my 17th birthday. I remember both days. On one I was at school early, trying to find someone who would get me high for my birthday, not wanting to use whatever drugs I had hidden away. On the other I was checking myself into rehab. I was what they call a high-bottom alcoholic and drug…

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Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle

We are very excited to have a guest post this week, written by Lyndsey Moya. When she isn’t with her family, taking her adorable 3 year old daughter, Zoey, to ballet practice or making a trip through the Starbucks drive-thru for her famous Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte, Lyndsey serves as the Career Center Manager at Saint John’s.   Success is not easy Success isn’t easy. You have to hustle. This, in a nutshell, is…

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916-453-1482
email us at:
info@saintjohnsprogram.org
2443 Fair Oaks Blvd, #369
Sacramento, CA 95825-7684
Mailing address only.
Not a physical location.
Nonprofit, 501(c)(3)
(Tax ID: 68-0132934).

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