“He started hitting me in the kitchen. I was stuck between the refrigerator and the stove. He was kicking me so hard in my ribs that my ribs had cracked.
When I was 13 my parents got a divorce. I was lost. I took my first hit of methamphetamines. ‘Book worm’ Donna was gone, and this monster just arose.
I had gotten pregnant at 17 and had my daughter. At 21 I had my son. I got into a very abusive relationship. My son’s father just said, ‘you know, I’m gonna kill you if we stay together. …
Lieutenant Ginnifer Pack (Lt. Gin)
“Centralia is the center point between Portland and Seattle. It’s rich in history. At one time it was a big economic place, but we have seen a decline in job availability, in housing availability.”
Lieutenant Steve Pack (Lt. Steve)
“One thing about our community is that there is food insecurity. Unfortunately, if we didn’t exist there’d be a lot people going hungry.
I’ve never seen a farm of this scale before at any other Salvation Army. It’s maintained daily through — mostly — our interns that we have. We do get volunteer groups. …
Major Kevin Bottjen
“Hoonah is on an island and as an island there is two ways to get here: fly or float.
It’s a beautiful place to live. We see whales in our front yard, deer and bear in our backyard. A population of 750 to 800 people year-round.
Subsistence is a lifestyle here. We live off the land as much as possible. We’re actually in deer hunting season, so that’s what a lot of us live off of throughout the year. Then there’s fishing; we’ve got salmon, halibut, crab, shrimp, sea asparagus and seaweed.
But there’s still things you gotta buy. There’s still dry goods you gotta bring in. So you gotta have money to buy that. …
“I was seven years old and I knew I wanted to smoke for the rest of my life. I started using marijuana on a regular basis and started messing with the girls.
I ended up having my first kid at 15 and, you know, from there on… I didn’t finish school.
I started working. I tried cocaine for the first time and it robbed me of my relationship with my kids. They were calling. I’d be high and I wouldn’t be able to answer the phone to talk to them.
You can only do so much of it before everything in your nose is gone. …
“Cocaine is one of those strange drugs. It doesn’t like get you all inebriated and stuff. No, it kind of like makes you better, almost. You’re better; see better; smell better.
So, when cocaine showed up it was socially acceptable. If you’re in business and you happen to have a little coke when you go to make a presentation, you kind of, maybe even, put it out there better. And that’s kind of how it snuck up on me. It was like 14 years before I even tried to get clean.
I think I literally worked at 20 or 25 different dealerships. People will put up with a lot of crap if you make them money. …
My mother was an eighteen-year-old unwed mother. I went to relatives here and there but there was nowhere for me to go. I became homeless. I was 12.
I had a teacher who took me to meet some friends of hers. They owned a baby store in San Francisco and eventually they asked me to come and live with them.
It was just like a dream come true but then one night he came into my room. I could have ended it if I’d screamed but I was desperately wanting to be a part of a family.
I fought him as hard as I could but the inevitable happened. How long it lasted — weeks, months — I honestly don’t remember. But what I do remember is looking over him one night and his wife was standing there. He told her that I had led him on and they told me I had to leave. It broke my heart. …
“I think I was maybe one of the most cynical people about church, and church people, and maybe even God. I had a stepfather who required us to go to church. And we’d go to mass and do the whole thing.
I say this person was my stepfather but I really just saw him as my father. He was the only father figure that I knew. So that just added to the confusion because that person was the most abusive person in my life.
You know, physical, emotional, mental. The person who is supposed to be your greatest advocate, your protector — when that person turns out to be the one that’s hurting you the most it creates all kinds of confusion. …
“I was an infantry officer in Iraq, Desert Storm and I got out in 1991. Unfortunately I was beginning to lose my vision from cataracts. It covers over the eyes so you can’t really see out of the eye anymore.
It got real cloudy in my right eye. I could see just a little bit and I completely lost vision in my left eye. You can’t read signs. You can’t make out people’s faces.
I started bumping into things because I couldn’t see them. I really started having a lot of setbacks in my life.
I wasn’t able to drive anymore. I wasn’t able to work anymore so I wound up becoming homeless. …
“Just say no? Sometimes it’s hard to say no, especially when you’re an addict.
We were doing methamphetamines, me and my wife. I have a family: my two girls and Michael.
We knew other people that were involved in the same stuff but they had their lights shut off. They had two kids taken away. I said, ‘we’re not bad. We haven’t had that done to us.’
We used to smoke pot at first and it would be like, ‘lay back, kick back’. And then you go to speed and it’s a whole different crowd. It’s a vicious crowd. It’s a vicious drug. …
“As far back as I can remember my dad would beat my mom; break her nose and black eyes and things like that.
We had a family portrait. My dad had beat my mama and made her smile for the camera.
After my mom and dad got divorced my dad broke into our house with a shotgun blew a huge hole through my mom’s bedroom door but had I come out my room he probably would have blown my head off.