Fifth Anniversary


Five years ago this June, we took a leap of faith and opened the new H.S. Lopez Family Foundation Center of Opportunity. Today, we join hands with over 60 organizations and volunteer service groups to provide holistic care for our neighbors experiencing homelessness. As we reflect on these transformative years, we celebrate the stories of all of those who we’ve served and highlight three women whose lives have been changed by their journey with us.

Finding God and New Beginnings

Cora, Ariah, and Bri each faced immense challenges and trauma that led them to addiction and homelessness. Yet, their stories share a common thread: the transformative power of faith, support, and community. At the Center of Opportunity, they found God and became new creations, embraced tools for healing, and were surrounded by a loving community that continues to support and uplift them.

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Cora’s Transformation

Cora grew up in a household filled with alcoholism and domestic violence. By the age of 14, she ran away, seeking love and acceptance in all the wrong places. Her life spiraled out of control under the grip of crystal meth addiction. After losing everything—her job, home, and children—Cora found herself sleeping outside her former home when a police officer brought her to Gospel Rescue Mission. Here, she reconnected with her faith and found strength in Jesus Christ to face each day. Once thought lost, her relationship with her daughter was restored and healed.

“It took me five years to reach that sobriety chip, but when I accepted it, my daughter was in the audience applauding me,” Cora shared. “It took five years of hard work to get here, but my daughter waited 15 years for that moment.”

Ariah’s Awakening

Ariah started drinking at 12 and experimented with drugs soon after. She grew up on the streets and was entangled in a lifestyle of drugs and abusive relationships. Nearly losing her children to the Department of Child Safety (DCS) marked her lowest point, leading to a profound spiritual awakening. A book she read introduced her to a God and unconditional love. Five years ago, she walked through the doors of Gospel Rescue Mission, where she found the love and support she needed. Today, she is five years clean and sober and is passionate about helping others find their way out of darkness.

”If it wasn’t for my faith and the support from Gospel Rescue Mission, I’d probably be back on drugs,” Ariah said. “It’s hard out there, but Jesus keeps me strong.”

Bri’s Community

“Having people who understand what you’re going through and can relate is so important. We hold each other accountable, but we also celebrate each other’s victories. It makes all the difference.”

Bri went through the Recovery Program with Cora and Ariah. Since then, she has maintained stable housing, regained custody of her daughter, and expanded her family. Her relationship with her children is stronger than ever, thanks to her faith in Jesus Christ and the support of a loving community.

“My support group is very important. Most of the people I made my initial support group are still a part of my life,” Bri explained. A reliable support system and the tools to navigate difficult situations have been crucial in her long-term success.

The Power of Community and Wholeness

True healing involves a relationship with God, supportive services and tools, and a nurturing community– healing of the mind, body, and spirit. Becoming whole is a journey, not a destination, and it is achieved through a process of consistent engagement in:

Wholeness of Mind

  • Choosing to participate in health activities 
  • Choosing to grow in understanding

Wholeness of Body

  • Developing healthy eating, exercise, and sleeping habits
  • Working to achieve and maintain sobriety
  • Working to secure and maintain employment
  • Working to secure and maintain housing

Wholeness of Spirit

  • Developing and maintaining a relationship with God
  • Developing and maintaining a relationship with the body of Christ
  • Developing and maintaining a relationship with a supportive community

From Lisa

We extend our deepest gratitude to the H.S. Lopez Family Foundation. Humberto Lopez’s vision for the Center of Opportunity addressed a growing concern in our community, and his determination and generosity made this “one stop shop” dream a reality, creating a beacon of hope and a catalyst for change. The center has become a national model, addressing the needs of the homeless and inspiring other communities to replicate its success.

My heartfelt thanks to our staff, volunteers, and donors. You’ve embraced our mission, allowing us to minister effectively to the hungry and hurting in our community. Your generosity has multiplied our impact exponentially. Without the support of our community, none of this would be possible, and we are humbled to be a part of something that has such a tremendous impact for good–something that has changed thousands of lives and will change countless more in the years to come.

Reflecting on the past five years, I see the faces of people who were transformed from despair to hope, brokenness to wholeness. Many who came to us now work as employees or volunteers, still part of our community. We are celebrating five years, but the real celebration is in the lives changed. 

Thank you for being a part of their story!

Thanking God for you,
Lisa Chastain
Chief Executive Officer