Shae’s story: Rescued from a reckless lifestyle

At just 11 years old Shae started doing dope. “I was running with the wrong crowd,” says Shae. Shae describes her drug induced life as chaotic and reckless. Her mother and sister describe her as angry, mean…a monster. From the early age of 11 until her late 20’s, things in Shae’s life went from bad to worse. “The harder we tried to help Shae, the meaner and angrier she got towards us,” said Shae’s mom. “I was like a bomb,” Shae explains, “My family was scared of me, they didn’t know what I was going to do…I didn’t know what I was going to do!” Homelessness, domestic abuse, jail, and then her kids are put into foster care, Shae hit bottom. “I locked myself in my car and called for help,” said Shae “I called the father of my children and he suggested the Union Gospel Mission.”

Now less than a year later Shae says, “it’s a life change, I love it here, I’ve never felt so much grace and love.” Since entering the doors of UGM Shae has been sober, she’s reconnected with her mother and siblings, she got her kids out of foster care, she felt the love of Jesus. “UGM opened up their arms and I surrendered,” laughs Shae “they kept me in line, I needed that.”

they gave me my child back”

Shae’s mother, Cheryl was skeptical when she first heard of Shae’s plans of going into recovery. Cheryl and her family had been through so much turmoil. She was concerned that Shae was just going away and leaving the kids behind, that they would never get the kids back. Soon after Shae had taken some time to clean up she started talking with her mother again. “It’s been amazing for Shae and the kids,” says Cheryl, “she’s a completely different person.” Shae and her two children now live in the Union Gospel Mission LifeChange facility for Women and Their Children located in Beaverton, Oregon. As part of the recovery program Shae will get biblical guidance, mental health and chemical dependency counseling, work therapy and basic education. Shae’s children will receive safe and fun child care, mental health counseling and biblical guidance. The children are given the opportunity to heal alongside their mother, so they not only see God’s transformation in their mother they experience it themselves. “The kids love living in a community,” says Shae, “mama can’t isolate herself anymore.”


Shae is now looking forward to building a new life. “I’m learning to walk with Jesus, I want to become an electrician,” exclaimed Shae, “I could have never done that before.” Shae’s sisters, and her mother Cheryl are looking forward to a new brighter holiday season free from the drugs and drama of the past. “I thank God every day that she found this place,” cries Cheryl, “they gave me my child back.”

UGM’s LifeChange for Women and Their Children is a Christ-centered recovery program where residents live and work in a community of people committed to transforming their lives and breaking the grip of addiction and abuse. LifeChange consists of education, counseling, work therapy, disciplship and transitional after care, at no cost to the resident.

If you know of a woman battling addiction, abuse or homelessness who has had enough and they are interested in a LifeChange, contact our Women’s LifeChange Director at  or 503-802-2271.

Keith FeherComment