• the three most difficult words to say

    We sat together eating a feast and sharing our life stories. During which, she shared the trauma of her past. There was no shame in her voice nor was there a quiver in her lip. She experienced a pain unimaginable and had the resolution to be strong amidst the tragedy of a childhood lost to […]

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  • You are welcome and you are worthy.

    You are welcome and you are worthy. What do you think of when you hear the word “Christmas”? Many people think of Christmas presents, trees, music, cookies, traditions, and celebrations. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone. The Christmas season is painful, lonely, and shaming for many individuals who have experienced domestic abuse, homelessness, under-resourced […]

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  • Home for the Holidays?

    For many current and former foster youth, the holidays are not looked upon with joyful anticipation, but rather as a sad time of year that triggers traumatic memories of absence, loss, abandonment and abuse. A time of year that traditionally brings intact families together to shareGod’s blessings, kindness and love with one another may have little meaning to a foster youth who has not experienced the holidays this way, and instead senses a season filled with pain and hurt. Many youth wish simply for the season to pass quickly and their feelings of loss and sadness to diminish. Instead of dwelling on what might have been and longing for something more now, they would rather put it behind them and move on into the New Year.

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  • You Find What You’re Looking For

    I saw her this morning. Slowly walking through an empty parking lot, pushing a shopping cart filled with a wide-ranging combination of items that had seemingly little or no worth. Yelling at everyone – at someone – at no one. Her monologue was wholehearted, pleading, vulgar and absolute. All at the same time. As I […]

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  • Jesus KNOWS my Abuse

    He was betrayed by intimate physical contact from his close friend. He was beaten, blamed, and forced to answer why he was being victimized. His identity and future was taken. His name was tarnished. He was forcefully stripped naked, His abusers laughed as they whipped Him.

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  • Keeping Relationships Healthy

    Domestic Abuse is a pattern of behavior used by one partner over another to establish and maintain power and control.  This includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, psychological, economical and spiritual abuse as well as stalking or cyber stalking behavior.  Both men and women experience domestic abuse, but at this point, our efforts and classes are […]

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  • We Had a Wedding?!?

    She looked around the room in awe and said, “it’s perfect”. This past weekend we had the incredible privilege of hosting a wedding for two of our THRIVE participants. The bride grew up in the foster system, bouncing between multiple residential facilities never finding a place to call home or being a part of a […]

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  • Be like Catherine

    I so clearly remember the moment from 2008. I was sitting in a cubicle at a research facility and I was having a bad day. I had experienced another difficulty in our journey through infertility, I had just received a phone call where I was told the other candidate was offered my dream job, and […]

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  • “SOLFul helped me realize that I wanted to be a leader”

    Summer is so fun!  If you’re a kid… it’s even more fun. Popsicles, long days, mangos with limón and chile, vacation Bible school, and fireworks! It’s also a time for Summer reading challenges at Fullerton Library, day camps and new excursions.  For OC United, having fun in the Valencia Park community looks like bringing kids, […]

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  • How Do You Live Without Hope?

    This is a question I ask myself as I interact with those experiencing homelessness. So many I encounter have been beaten down by the world and its adversity to the point of giving up. They see little or nothing to live for, no reason to try, no hope for their future. But when hope is […]

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