Leslie's Story

Thank you for caring for me!

My name is Leslie. I am 58 years old . I grew up as the youngest of eight in Patterson, New Jersey. Our family was traditional with two parents who loved us and worked hard.

My dad taught me to cook and passed his passion on to me.

At the age of 13 I was molested and violently threatened with harm if I told anyone. I kept it a secret for years, but it led to my alcohol abuse that spiraled out of control by the time I was 25. I was affected emotionally and socially. I hated violent men, yet those were the kind of men I would date. I had two children, and wanted to take care of them so I began entering one rehab program after another, but I always left without finishing the program.

Because getting high became more important than my children, I recognized they deserved a better life. I loved them. I signed them over to be care for by others. But my soul was empty.

I entered a faith-based program which introduced me to Christ but when I relapsed I was not welcomed back. It confused me. Eventually I became homeless, carrying bags filled with my belongings, living at the train station. I began to earnestly ask God for help.

God answered my prayers leading me to the NYC Rescue Mission, then the Bowery Mission. With their help I attended culinary school. But I still wanted to live life on my own terms and made decisions that led to more drug and alcohol abuse.

My brother Kenny was at the Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany. I saw how God had worked in his life. I saw how he was loved and respected. He urged me to come to the Mission also.

When COVID shut down my job training, and I faced betrayal by a friend, I wanted to end my life. Desperate, I called my brother. He came to pick me up and I entered the women’s short-term shelter at Capital City Rescue Mission in April 2021. What a relief to be safe and valued.

That same month I joined the New Faith program for women, here at the Rescue Mission. I’ve learned that God never left me and I can live in community and harmony with Him through surrender to Jesus Christ.

My favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 2:8-9…

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

I know now that I am a child of the King. I have been baptized at Legacy Church, declaring publicly I am trusting Jesus as my Savior. God has given me a community of sisters in Christ and reunited me with a stronger bond with my brother. He has also given me new life and a desire to serve Him and to use my gifts to bless others.

Because my passion is cooking, I am now cooking lunch for the New Faith women on a regular basis. I love it.

Where would I be except for God’s grace and the support of Capital City Rescue Mission?

Thank you for caring for me and demonstrating the love of Jesus!

"Where would I be except for God's grace and the support of CCRM?"

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