Voices of Hope – Candace C.

“I’m a 38 year-old mother of 8 children who was never a heavy drug user until my husband and I separated after 22 years of marriage. I felt so scared and alone and threw myself into drugs and sex, but it didn’t get me anywhere except arrested for drug possession with intent to sell and 1st offense prostitution. I learned about Operation New Hope when I was in jail. I had no idea that help like this existed, but I’m so glad it does because it has completely changed my life!

“I learned so much going through the Ready4Work program. I had never been on a computer before, so the technology training was an amazing game changer. I really enjoyed the family atmosphere at Operation New Hope. It became my safe zone where I could be open and honest. My team – Meredith, Nora, and Brandon – are all so great. They are like family now. I talk to them daily and plan on utilizing all the resources available for the full year of the program and beyond. 

“Before all of this, I was so scared of being alone and homeless when my husband left me. But now I have my Operation New Hope team behind me and all the tools needed to be successful and overcome my fears. I am now gainfully employed working full-time at Cracker Barrel and just got promoted with a raise. I absolutely love it there! I had never been exposed to outside the home, so it’s amazing to be around other people now. It’s fast-paced and I have tons of energy, so it’s a great fit for me. I’m also working part-time as a forklift operator with the vocational training I received through Ready4Work. 

“It’s great to be busy and be able to build up my credit. Because of skills I learned in financial literacy training at Operation New Hope, I have been able to save up enough money to move into my own townhouse. I’m now in school at Seminole State College to earn my high school degree and plan to enroll next year at Trinity University to pursue my degree in Ministry. My goal is to travel the world and help others who have been sex trafficked and tell them that it’s never too late. I want to help bring Jesus to the world and use my gifts and talents to show where my faith has brought me. It’s my hope that by sharing my story that I will be able to help other people.

“I used to think there wasn’t any way out, and there is still part of me that is a scared little girl. But I’m no longer lost – now I know that there is HOPE on the other side!”

At Operation New Hope, we believe that we are all better than our worst mistake, worst day, or worst decision. We believe in people’s ability to transform their lives through commitment and hard work. We see it every day as we support our clients’ reentry and growth. With the skills learned and confidence gained from our Ready4Release, Ready4Work and Ready4Success programs, our participants go on to become productive community members and build successful careers earning living wages. Read more stories of transformation, success and hope!

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