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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’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’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…


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…


Sheila’s Story

Sheila, a 54-year-old native of Hawaii, has long been haunted by her younger brother’s untimely death at 18—something for which she blames herself. She has cowered under a shadow of whiskey and methamphetamine—a darkness that took control of her life for nearly 40 years before she found Saint John’s Program for Real Change. Sheila’s self-destructive behavior began in her teens. As a young addict, she dropped out of high school…


Perseverance with Lilly C.

After 30 years shooting heroin with her husband, Lilly found a higher power in Jesus and was sober for 17 years before relapsing with alcohol. Because she was in and out of jail for 10 years for stealing to support her addiction, much of the time Lilly’s four kids were left in the care of their grandmother. Lilly had no idea how damaged she was inside; she never believed she…


Experiencing Gratitude with Jessica L.

Born to a family of addicts, Jessica began to drink heavily after her brother passed away from an overdose. Shortly thereafter, two cousins were shot and killed in separate incidents, all leading to an addiction to meth, add the loss of her job and her home, and an abusive relationship. She began to sell meth to support her habit, ultimately landing in jail for possession. “Saint John’s gave me the…


Pursuing clarity with Jackie T.

  “I learned how to address my issues; Saint John’s helped me to find myself and I gained confidence.  I was so inspired by the stories of the other women.” Addicted to meth and alcohol, Jackie started using at the age of 13.  Moving through her addiction from Las Vegas to Riverside to Sacramento, she ultimately lost custody of her children, suffered from domestic violence and depression and ended up homeless. …


demonstrating tenacity with Grace J.

     “Saint John’s taught me how to peel back the layers so I can heal – that’s just what I needed.” A meth addict for 10 years, Grace found herself homeless and lost her children to CPS. After her first stint at Saint John’s several years ago, Grace was clean and sober, earned her GED, was on her college’s honor roll and on her way to a better life…



“Saint John’s taught me that I’m responsible for my own life. I never grasped that before. I learned to take charge.” Cynthia’s spiral into 28 years of addiction began at the age of 12. She bounced from one abusive relationship to another until her former boyfriend posed a serious threat to her relationship with her son. That day, she said “enough is enough.” Saint John’s was the perfect place to…

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“Saint John’s taught me to never give up on life. The hope everyone gives you as they share their story, give their advice – it brightens that spark you lost.” For years, Emily lived on other people’s couches, battling a vicious drug addiction. Her wake-up call came when Child Protective Services took her children away. That’s when she turned to Saint John’s. She maintained her sobriety and became the first…

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Celebrating Cornisha H.

        “You have to want something different to happen in your life.  Until I came to Saint John’s, I didn’t know I had options.  I’m not walking on eggshells anymore.” Cornisha was afraid to leave – afraid she wouldn’t be able to take care of her two children on her own, and afraid she’d have no other option than to go back to the abusive relationship she…

stepphanie N for blog


Stepphanie faced destitution after losing her home and quality of life to foreclosure and poor credit. She needed to recover, and Saint John’s was the place for her to do that. She embraced the program and thrived in employment training at Plates Café. Just eight months later, she began working at Sacramento State University’s Restaurant and Mulvaney’s B&L. Today, she is managing a branch of About A Bite Bakery. Bouncing…

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