Featured Story 2018-01-17T00:21:42+00:00


Featured Story

CityReach Hope Homes – Rebuilding Broken Lives

“Heroin-related deaths increased 439% from 1999 to 2014…” and “Roughly 64,000 people died in the US from drug overdoses in 2016…” and “…8.1 million had both a substance use disorder and another mental illness.”* The stats are overwhelming, but there is hope. When you give to the Hope Homes, lives are changed, families are reunited and hope is restored. Invest today and be a part of the solution. Your gift will help to save the lives of men and women across the country.

With a vision to rebuild broken lives, the Hope Home ministry provides a place of hope and freedom for people dealing with life-controlling issues or desperate situations. Men and women discover their God-given destiny through our 9-month, residential recovery homes. The emphasis is on transformation through the life-changing love of Jesus Christ. Because there is no cost to the residents, the Hope Homes are established and sustained by the generosity of donors and supporters.

We currently have 20 Hope Homes where broken lives are being radically transformed every day.

This Christmas season we have a goal of raising $250,000, with 100% of all donations supporting the opening of 5 new Hope Homes in 2018. Each home costs approximately $50,000/year to sustain.

Would you consider investing in this life-changing ministry?

Be a part of the solution.

Change the statistics.

Rebuild broken lives.

There is hope.


*Statistics Source: CNN.com, Drugabuse.gov and NYTimes.com

Read Their Full Stories Below

“Soon after my birth, my parents divorced. I was raised by my mom in a family filled with love. I excelled in academics and sports, but I found my identity in psychiatric diagnoses and bad relationships. I began to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol at the age of 13 which opened the door of addiction that didn’t shut for 27 years. I tried cocaine for the first time at 18 and was arrested that same day. During my twenties, my life appeared successful on the outside, but I was a mess on the inside. My thirties were a train wreck. I ended up pregnant and became fully addicted to crack cocaine and heroin. My son was born drug addicted and social services immediately got involved. I was arrested and charged with 7 more criminal cases and ended up becoming a fugitive. The charges included felony distribution of heroin, larceny, theft and child neglect. At 40 years old, I found myself alone in a jail cell facing about 60 years in prison. The state of Maryland filed charges to terminate my parental rights. I was broken, desperate and hopeless. I met with a pastor while I was awaiting trial and gave my life to Jesus. I still had to stand trial in multiple counties. My most painful day was when I had to sign my son’s rights over to the state and thought I would never see him again. While incarcerated, my family heard about a place called CityReach Hope Homes and I agreed to interview with the home director. After 7 ½ months in jail, I was released and immediately went to the Hope Home. From the moment I walked through the door, I felt an overwhelming presence of love. This place was like no other “facility” I had ever been in! It was a home where I was loved through my pain and where I found purpose! After graduating the program, I started working full-time and joined the staff at the church. I became the Community Connections leader. I also began teaching children’s church and coaching basketball. I continue to share my story of redemption in the community with anyone who wants to hear about God’s miraculous work in my life. My life is a miracle and I won’t leave out the best part… I was reunited with my son one year after signing over my rights! Thank you Jesus!”
Mateo cardboard testimony

“I was physically and verbally abused as a child and became a highschool dropout. I used and sold drugs for more than 25 years and was in and out of rehabs and prisons for nearly a decade. At one point, I was even declared dead and came back to life. Now I can see that God was giving me a second chance. In 2008, in a prison cell in Utah, I first heard the voice of God in the middle of the night. I was tossing and turning because I had no peace. I was tormented with terrible thoughts. Then I heard, “Stand up and praise Him.” So that’s what I did. I began weeping and thanking God that I was no longer using drugs. I heard the same voice say to me, “Matthew 16:26.” I knew there was a book of Matthew in the Bible, but I had no idea that chapter 16 verse 26 even existed. I opened the Bible in my cell and read, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his soul? What will you give in exchange for your soul?” The second question completely floored me. At that moment, I knew God was real. By his grace, God led me to a CityReach Hope Home and my life has been radically changed forever.”


“I grew up in a broken home fueled by alcohol and drugs. I became a product of my environment. I was selling and using drugs and running the streets. Skipping school eventually led to me becoming a high school dropout which in turn led to me being in and out of jail on a regular basis. I looked to drinking and using heroin and doing anything to make a dollar to support my habits. Eventually, I got kicked out of places to stay and lost all my friends. I found myself homeless and sleeping next to the railroad tracks. In my darkest moment, I decided to join a CityReach Hope Home and it was there I found Jesus Christ. Jesus changed my life by His incredible love. Experiencing this love made me realize there is hope. He kept me alive. He took me from nothing to blessing me with amazing talents and a new life. I’m so excited to continue walking on the path that He has created for me!”


“When I was 6, I was abused physically, emotionally, and sexually by my stepbrother. I was taught to lie out of fear, and I learned to believe that pain was love. In a twisted way, I began to feel peace in the abuse. It became my normal. I grew up in many toxic environments, new homes, and new families. All of them were abusive in their own ways. By 14, I started my own toxic relationship and discovered alcohol. I immediately became an alcoholic. I was prescribed narcotic anxiety meds and when I mixed them with alcohol, I would black out. I drank only to pass out and forget everything. When I was 18, doctors diagnosed me with a horrific case of endometriosis. I was told I would never have children and was scheduled for a large procedure a few months later. I was put on narcotic pain medications and I started abusing them. I was drowning. My weight dropped to 78 pounds and I wanted to kill myself. One night I tried. I added alcohol to my combination of meds and wrecked my car. Within a few months, I was an IV drug user and it wasn’t long before I overdosed. I went through 50+ rehabs and halfway houses, lived without food or a place to call home for months on end and sold everything I had including myself. But I always had hope that there was a way out. That hope inside me was Jesus Christ. In May of 2016, I finally surrendered and went to a CityReach Hope Home. I saw what love really was and I wanted more of it. I found out that I was not powerless and that I had authority in Christ. I started to see myself the way my Heavenly Father sees me; as a chosen child of God made in His image. I graduated the Hope Home completely free from addiction and the pain of my past! After I graduated, I met my husband. My relationship with my entire family has been restored. I was healed of endometriosis! I married a man who loves the Lord. I have a thriving arts ministry and am on the worship team. Today, I stand on the promises of God and walk by faith not by sight.”

charles story

“At 14, I decided to join a gang. My gang became my family and who I looked up to. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, was raised by my grandmother and my mother and had five sisters. It was a good life. My dad was in my life financially, but never in person. I was forced to attend church growing up but never had a relationship with God. I had a lot of older cousins that were dealing drugs and involved in gang activity. When I joined a gang, I lost it. I was doing things I knew I wasn’t supposed to and I was desperately trying to fill a void in my life. At 14, I decided to join a gang. My gang became my family and who I looked up to. Around this time, I went to jail for a year. I was 15 years old. Then I was forced to go back into high school, but I just wanted to get out. I was still running the streets, partying and doing drugs. A turning point came in my life when I got a very serious charge and was looking at 10 years in prison. My family kept telling me that God loved me, but I never really knew what that meant. I ended up getting 5 years in prison and the judge, who was a Christian, gave me the opportunity to serve 2 years and then serve the remaining time in a rehab. While in rehab, I wasn’t changing. I was just doing my time. I met a pastor who told me about a program called CityReach Hope Homes and it was there that God finally moved in my heart. I got baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit. My life totally changed. I recently graduated from the home. I’m now assisting a new Hope Home in Los Angeles, CA and starting ministry school in January. My life has been radically changed by Jesus.”


“It is almost indescribable how bad it can hurt inside when you have been through so much and it all hits you at once. I had a rough childhood that made me mentally and emotionally unstable. At an early age, I formed this identity of myself and what life was all about. Let’s just say I had a completely wrong outlook on life. It caused me to be very bitter and hateful deep inside. It led me to start drinking and using drugs at an abnormally young age. I became dependent on having some king of substance to maintain my daily life. It would numb my emotions, so to speak, and I thought it made me “better.” It tunneled me right into opiate addiction and eventually heroin. It ruined every good relationship in my life. I was always in trouble, always in jail, on house arrest, on probation or on parole. I ended up in such darkness that I thought I had no hope in my heart at all. I became desperate for change and couldn’t seem to get it no matter what I tried. Finally, I was so tired of failing and completely broken at where I was in life and at what I had become that I couldn’t take it any longer. I was crying and contemplating just ending it all. I decided I was going to either shoot myself or rob a bank and have a cop take my life instead. I ended up on my knees with a gun to my head when God showed up in a powerful way. I had yelled out to him in desperation and He immediately responded by speaking to me through a text message from a friend. My friend sent me the exact Bible verses that I needed to hear at that moment. Since then, it has only gotten better and better. I went to a CityReach Hope Home and met people that helped show me a different way of life. I know God put them in my life because He was always there working to set me free. Now, I am full of joy and compassion for people. I am in ministry school and I have found new passions and talents. I’m running the very home I went through to get sober and have found purpose for my life. Jesus truly freed me from the chains I couldn’t break by myself. I’ve found my true identity.”


“One night I just felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders and for the eighth time, I tried to commit suicide. I didn’t grow up in church. My mom was a heroin addict, my biological father left when I was 2 months old and the man that raised me adopted me when I was 2 years old. He was an alcoholic. I grew up in a very angry house. It was a good day if my mom and I only got into one fist fight. When I was 11, I robbed my first house and entered my first juvenile detention center. When I was 13, I was raped and that was my turning point for the worse. I began running the streets and smoking crack. I met my husband, Anthony, when I was 17. He was dealing drugs and I was still using. Fast forward several years. My husband went to a CityReach church on a whim. I remember he left the house that day and came back a completely different person. But I hated God with all my heart. Anthony began to follow Jesus, went to ministry school and wanted to be a pastor. I filed for divorce. It was all too much for me and that was not the man I married. One night I just felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders and for the eighth time, I tried to commit suicide. Anthony walked in on me. He bandaged my arms and said he was going to take me to the hospital. He ended up taking me to church instead. I was filled with so much anger and rage. I sat in the last row in the corner seat. I can’t tell you what the preacher said but God used him. I remember laying on the floor face down for an hour and a half crying hysterically the entire time. When I woke up the next morning something was different. I was on 19 medications; antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety meds. When I went to take them I just felt I didn’t need to, so I didn’t. I was completely healed the night before at the church and when I took off my arm bandages all my cuts were healed except for one. My doctor admitted me because they were sure I was going to withdraw from the meds but nothing happened so they had to discharge me. At that moment I knew God had a plan for my life and I completely surrendered to Him and what He wanted! My husband and I pastor a church and I direct a CityReach Hope Home, showing women the life-changing, healing love of Jesus Christ!”

Brian story testimony

“After being adopted at only a few months old, I grew up knowing there was a God who loved me and both my parents gave me the best life they possibly could. I was raised in what most would have considered the perfect upbringing. My mom was a Christian all her life and my father came to know Christ at the age of 20. For some reason at 14, I began to rebel and started using cocaine and drinking on a regular basis. I was introduced to methamphetamines when I was 16 along with unhealthy people, friends and criminals. After 20 years of going in and out of institutions, a failed marriage and countless rehabs, I finally realized my life was full of lies and pain and that I needed to surrender to Christ and allow Him to have complete control. I went into a CityReach Hope Home and through the redeeming power of God, His grace and His mercy, I’m completely free from my addiction and my old life of lies. It’s because of the love of Jesus that I am passionate about helping others and filled with purpose. I want to help other men who are dealing with the same issues I once struggled with. God has given me a compassion to reach the lost and I am eager to spread His love and freedom to those wanting to change their life.”

Lauren story testimony

“I found my identity in boys, alcohol and drugs. I felt like I never really fit anywhere. So I thought I’d just be a party girl and that’s what I did. I always thought it would be a chapter of my life that I would eventually grow out of. Little did I know, what seemed like “typical” teenage fun would take control of my life. I began using harder drugs on a more regular basis. What started as taking pain pills on the weekends turned into a heroin addiction at the age of 18. I was naive. I never thought addiction could take control of me because I was in control of it. I soon realized I didn’t WANT to get high anymore, I HAD to. I started going to rehabs, halfway houses, N.A. meetings and therapists but at 22, I was still broken and lost. I thought my family, my job and my baby could keep me sober, but I quickly realized I needed something more. I had been attending a CityReach church occasionally and knew about the CityReach Hope Home for women. I prayed to God one night asking for direction. God told me, “Go,” and that’s what I did. Leaving my 1-year-old son, boyfriend, apartment, car and job sounded crazy but I did it anyway. I went into the Hope Home for 9 months and it was the best thing to ever happen to me. Taking that step of faith was hard, but God was faithful and has shown me how much He loves me. It’s like my eyes have been cleared and I can finally see. I’m no longer a slave to the life I was living. I am made new in Christ. Everything has been restored from material things like my home, car and job to emy relationships and my child’s health. Every day I choose to walk with Jesus and let Him lead my life and He NEVER disappoints. It’s almost too hard to put into words how amazing the transformation of my life has been. I feel whole and that’s a feeling I had been chasing for so long. “Giving up” was what I needed to do. I gave up the fight and let God fight the battle for me. The great news is He already won it all! Never forget Jesus loves you and will never leave you.”

Ralph story testimony

“I thought my only gift was getting drunk and high. I didn’t think I was good at anything. My life before Christ was hopeless. I have a 14-year-old son who I haven’t seen in 10 years because of my addiction to alcohol and heroin. I also have a 6-year-old son who just lost his mother to a heroin overdose about 6 months ago. I was no father to my children. I couldn’t even wake up to get my son breakfast without shooting heroin first and if I didn’t get my dope, my son didn’t eat. How despicable and disgusting for a father to treat his child that way. Last year, I finally hit rock bottom. I was facing a cold winter on the streets when I decided to enter a CityReach Hope Home. I met Jesus there and I learned how to really follow Him. He completely set me free! I have overcome the trap of addiction and have learned to consider others before myself, to forgive and to love. I started reading my Bible and realized that the Lord had been talking to me all along, even as a child. Through all the times that I overdosed, all the D.U.I.’s and totaled vehicles, God had never left me. Just like He said in His Word. Now that I see the truth of God’s Word and have experienced His love and grace firsthand, I can be a loving father. I feel called to be a pastor or a missionary and have plans to attend ministry school next year. God has also placed on my heart the desire to preach together with my son, Cole. My challenge today is for anybody who is hurting, angry, stuck in addiction or just feels lost in life… please ask Jesus into your heart. Don’t wait. When you do, He will be right there guiding you through any trials or suffering you are going through. Never forget Jesus loves you and will never leave you.”






Feeling called to plant a church, church planting promo




CityReach Network Church Planters sidebar image