OUR CLIENTS

scroll down to read

 
         

Teens Model Saint John’s Program for Real Change Values

Empowering women….clearly a most important goal for Saint John’s Program for Real Change. It’s interesting, then, that a group of teenage girls has already embodied that goal and is helping the women at Saint John’s by forming their own volunteer circle of help. Started this year by sophomore St. Francis students Amelia Barkett and Anna Kate Cwynar, the group that calls themselves the Teen Circle has decided to work on…

Helping Children Thrive

Casually swinging his enormous battle axe at nearby intruders, the almost human form dressed in black helmet and knight’s plate armor made his way through rundown wood houses and abandoned football stadiums, looting every weapon in sight. If this video game character happens to be “eliminated” by his counterparts, he simply disappears with no pain or consequence. . . a stark contrast to Travis, the 11-year-old Fortnite enthusiast’s reality where…

Sister Act

There is so much behind-the-scenes work that makes a place like Saint John’s Program for Real Change work. The public can see and read about the mission and the results, but what it takes to actually make it all run is almost overwhelming to consider. So, when folks want to become a part of the program by volunteering, there are so many ways to volunteer. Enter Carol Hood and her…

Finding Courage

  “They had faith in me, they uplifted me and provided me with the tools and the structure I needed.”   Fist fights, petty theft, vandalism, loitering, three DUIs, sleeping in the park and abandoned crack houses, smoking dope, up for days at a time and addicted to meth. Add to that an abusive girlfriend who beat her repeatedly, giving her two black eyes and a broken leg. Irais was…

Second Chances

 “I am blessed to have found Saint John’s. This program has changed my life.”   “I’ve learned that if you want something different, you have to DO something different; you have to change everything,” observes Alexandria J., a Saint John’s client and next week’s class representative who will speak on behalf of the 15 graduates walking the stage next Thursday, September 5 at Saint John’s Graduation Ceremony and Guest Chef…

Change for the Children

“My children were my motivation. When I wake up, they’re the first things on my mind” Mother to twins Janeya and Jovanni (now 3), Carmen became a prostitute at age 14 to support her cocaine habit. She got sober while pregnant with the twins, but relapsed after they were born, eventually ending up homeless due to her debilitating addiction. She learned about Saint John’s from her friend Antoinette, an alumna…

Hope and Healing

“You give it your all and it works; it changes your life.” Let’s face it… we may have certain images in mind when we think of “the homeless.” Stereotypes are part of life, but, so often they simply categorize without helping us to look deeper. Such is the case when you meet Mandy, a single mom with two teenage boys, Robby (15) and Caleb (13). Wearing a pretty dress and…

Seeing from a Different Perspective

Life can be hard sometimes…and for some, much harder than for others. Some things we can control, while some things we cannot. Imagine, then, being born with a severe visual impairment so that you could never see things unless they were extremely close to your eyes? Imagine your eyes always moving, but never seeing clearly. You use braille but can also read, as long as the print is extra large,…

Rebuilding my Family

“Saint John’s taught me how to be a mother again, and they provided me with the skills I needed to have a career.” After the death of her mother, Natisha was overwhelmed with stress. She began experimenting with drugs and settled on meth to mask the pain. Over the course of her 10-year addiction, she lost her job and her apartment and was living in a tent by the river…

Piece by Piece

One of the challenges of memorializing the life of a Saint John’s graduate is how to capture the real story. These women have come from places and pasts so drastically different from our own, and yet, they are more full of hope and happiness than most anyone you have ever met. That’s what makes their stories so powerful. After graduating from Saint John’s, Shayla moved away to start a new life….

Beyond My Wildest Dreams

“The staff at Saint John’s loved me until I could love myself.” Suffering verbal, mental and physical abuse by her boyfriend, Carmen became severely depressed and turned to meth to self-medicate. Her life had spiraled out of control, as she alternately lived on the streets and couch-surfed, resulting in CPS removing five-year-old daughter Olivia (now 10) from her custody and placing her in foster care. Olivia was later adopted by…

Beginning to Know Myself

I met Jennifer after she had finished a shift managing some of the other ladies working in the residential campus kitchen…..hot and tired, she had an air of calm confidence that impressed me immediately. Here was a smart lady who, at 42, finally knew what she had to do to move forward in her life. Pregnant at 15 with son Adrien, married at 16 and divorced at 17, Jennifer actually…

Committed to a Better Life

“While I was at Saint John’s, I didn’t have to worry about rent – I could focus on my goal and my plan.” In and out of jail all her life and addicted to drugs from age 16, Karen spent three years in prison for aggravated identity theft, yet still rebounded to her dysfunctional lifestyle upon her release at age 30. When her son Kyren (now 6) started kindergarten, she…

A Story of Strength and Determination

It was rainy outside when I met Mynica, but her smile immediately brightened the day. Her story, a complex web of ins and outs, ups and downs, struggles and hopes left me wondering just where to start in trying to describe this beautiful lady and her journey. Mynica was one of three children being “raised” by an alcoholic, drug-addicted mother. “Neenie” was the middle child in every sense of the…

Mighty Melissa

Finally Felicia

When Felicia underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2006, little did she know that this procedure would produce the opposite result for which it was intended: instead of leading to improved health, it resulted in an addiction to opioids. When she could no longer get her hands on pain meds, she turned to meth, and from there, it was a twisted, agonizing downward spiral. “When you take opioids, your body starts…

She is Risen

Resurrection, rebirth, renewal are all words we will hear a lot this week, but these are words that we live by, every day, at Saint John’s. When women and children arrive at our doors, the joy and exuberance that is life is missing from their eyes, from their faces, from their souls. They are broken, they are exhausted, they are desperate. Rock bottom seems like a step up. We embrace…

Stephanie

Stephanie’s Serendipity

As a single mother of three, living paycheck-to-paycheck was a way of life. Stephanie became the sole parent of her family in 2014, when her husband was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison for beating her. For years, the beatings had gone unreported, as he repeatedly threatened to kill her and their son if she reported the abuse, even going so far as to destroy her cell phone…

Sandy’s Salvation

What kind of mother uses while she’s pregnant? What kind of mother would continue to use, knowing she had four babies already removed from her care by “the system?” Looking back at a life I can no longer fathom, I am forever grateful for the Real Change I have finally been able to achieve. At 32 years old, I was homeless, pregnant and strung out on meth… while pregnant with…

Silver Belle

Silver had it all – marriage, family, a career, a home. An avid learner with a passion to explore, school and classes have always been a part of her life. After earning her high school diploma, she went right to work, but always fit a class or two into her life. “I like to keep things fresh,” observes Silver. “There’s always more to learn.” Over the course of her career,…

Dawn Rising

“People ain’t perfect. We all have these flaws and we all have these hiccups.” Dawn originally entered Saint John’s ten years ago. She went through the program simply to get done with it. She admits, “I was doing what I was told to do. I wasn’t receiving what I was supposed to be receiving, I was just going through the motions. I was there because CPS had requested I do…

Unstoppable Maria

Maria walks into Saint John’s in scrubs fresh off a break from her job at UC Davis Medical Center. She has a bright, infectious smile and truly seems to be the happiest person in the world which is simply amazing as she was homeless before finding Saint John’s Program for Real Change. “I love my job,” she says smiling. ”I actually got this job, thanks to Saint John’s. I didn’t…

Helping Children Succeed

Our average client is 34 years old and has two children, 47% of whom arrive at our doors suffering from depression and anxiety as a result of their homelessness. Many of these children have been raised in an environment rife with drugs, alcohol and domestic violence, and have endured uninhabitable living conditions, with no awareness that this is not normal, nor acceptable. At Saint John’s, we know that treating our…

Erika

Erika’s Story

“It’s been a long journey and a lot of hard work,” the mother of three says, calling Saint John’s Program for Real Change a real blessing. Despite her seemingly tranquil nature, Erika, at age 30, has been haunted by fear for most of her life. Fear of going to school in aging, often unwashed clothing; fear of her mother’s frequent absences in search of the big win at the gaming…

All Dolled Up!

A mother of five daughters, 85-year-old Nancy Thompson was inspired to make her first doll more than 30 years ago. After making one for each daughter, their friends wanted them too. When daughter Chris was in nursing school, she came home one day with a tale of a patient whose parents were both farm workers and therefore gone all day. “I made her a doll so that she would have…

Chastity in Charge!

Chastity grew up in foster care in New Jersey from the age of seven, and was pregnant with her son by the time she turned 21. With a work history including serving as a safety manager and facilities administrator at Aeroforms, a contractor for Exxon Mobile, an Uber/Lyft driver and various positions managing fast food restaurants, she never experienced legal problems, drug or alcohol addiction like many of our clients…

A Sister’s Story

If you’ve ever been in a support-person role (and most of us have), you know how difficult it is to navigate the obstacles, emotions, logistics and, in most cases, unfavorable circumstances associated with the person you are trying to help. Add to that the frustration and heartbreak of doing everything you know to be physically, financially and emotionally possible, and still your loved one flounders. The family and friends of…

Turning the Tables

Ten times per year, we hold our popular Guest Chef Dinners at Plates Café, where 200-250 members of our community gather in support of our program to enjoy a delicious meal-with-a-meaning, prepared and presented by a local “guest chef” with the help of our Employment Training Program participants. Each fall for the past three years, we’ve turned the tables with a “Reverse Guest Chef Dinner,” where together with the support…

CONGRATULATIONS TO COUNCILWOMAN ANGELIQUE ASHBY AND SIERRA HEALTH FOUNDATION PRESIDENT & CEO CHET HEWIITT, OUR 2018 CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE!

It is our great pleasure to announce the recipients of our 2018 Champions of Change awards, Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby and Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet Hewitt! The award, now in its second year, recognizes those who exemplify Saint John’s core values: Love, Courage, Effort, Gratitude, Respect, Community and Growth. Please consider joining us, if you haven’t already reserved your ticket, at our November 3 Party for…

A Giant Hip Hip Hooray for Allstate Agent and Saint John’s Volunteer Zachary Wandell

Recipient of the 2018 Ray Lynch Community Service Award! Sacramento Allstate agency owner and community volunteer extraordinaire Zachary Wandell has been awarded the prestigious 2018 Ray Lynch Community Service Award, and we couldn’t be prouder! The award is Allstate’s top national honor commending an agency owner or financial specialist for giving back and supporting people and organizations in their local communities. The award, established in 2000 in memory of Allstate…

Contact us

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).

Make a difference

Fundraise
Volunteer
Donate