Sarah Smiles


Sarah lost her job, then everything else—including her daughter. Sarah had to place her with a relative when she became homeless. “I camped by the train tracks. I was homeless during the holidays,” she recalls, shivering. “I was so hungry . . . I’d wait in lines to eat.”

“I was unemployable. I had nowhere to go. I slept in abandoned buildings,” Sarah remembers, blinking back tears. “Or there was a lobby where they’d give you a blanket and you could sleep on the floor.” Finally, Sarah said, “I need help. I can’t live this way anymore.” And she found her way to the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission.

Today, she says, “When I got here I had nothing. Literally. No clothes. Nothing. Now I have all of my basic needs met, and am with positive people, and that gave me my life back!” Sarah’s even reconnected with her daughter and smiles proudly, “I call and tell her goodnight, see how her day went at school, and see what’s going on in her life. And I tell her a little bit about my day too.” And Sarah is making plans for their future together. “I know I’ll be employable again. I know I’ll be an upstanding member of society again. And I’ll definitely be a good mom!”