INDIO, Calif. - People facing the prospect of being homeless know how difficult it can be to try to turn their lives around.
That's why this is an important day for the more than 40 graduates of the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission's New Life program.
The men and women who made it to graduation day received a well deserved standing ovation.
Just a year ago, many of the programs participants lived on the streets, addicted to drugs or worse.
Susan Knezevich tells us, "I was in a very dark place, a place that I had no hope and I didn't care if I lived or died." Belinda Rocha shares a similar story, "I came here suffering with pain. I had a big accident, I got hit from a car and it's a big blessing that god gave me another life to live."
Another chance, that's what the mission offers. Providing food, clothing, and safe shelter to anyone in need.
Then, through the mission's new life and gateway programs, they can start to rebuild.
Jose Rosales is a mens assistant at the Rescue Mission. He explains, "Through our process, they get to get their lives back together. They get to understand what their problem was and work through that and have a spiritual growth as well."
The new life program offers extensive counseling and life skill classes as well as job training and placement. All necessary to help people maintain their independence and a happy life.
Paul Curbow is one of the Mission's many success stories. He says, "From here, nowhere but up. I am now employed through the Mission. I work with overnight services, I'm able to give back now, and from here I'm actually going home. I have actually salvaged an 18 year marriage through this program."
The program helps more than 80% of it's graduates to overcome homelessness.
Belinda tells us, "If you really want to change your life this the best program you know, they help you get your life together. Have your family back together and look for a job."
Susan gives her thoughts on the program, "I'm so grateful, and I hope that donors continue to donate finances here so that these doors will stay open for mankind. Because it's so very important to lend man a helping hand and to give them their dignity and to let them know that there is hope in the world."
The Rescue Mission is also seeking donations of new or gently used household items to help it's graduates, many of whom are moving into places of their own.
If you would like to donate you can drop off items at the Rescue Mission at 47470 Van Buren Street in Indio. Pickups can also be arranged by calling (760)347-3512.