Finding Her Saving Grace

Surviving a traumatic upbringing with an abusive mother, Deborah H. found herself homeless and arrested for credit card fraud, but a chance encounter with a retired U.S. Army Officer provided her with a second chance, motivating her to rebuild her life, be of service, and become a productive member of society.

Deborah H. grew up with an abusive mother. Throughout her childhood, she was subjected to physical punishment. Eventually, when the trauma became too much, she moved out. This decision left her homeless with little to no resources or support. She didn’t know where to take shelter, let alone where she would find her next meal.

Living with Consequences

In 1985, a “friend“ offered her credit card to Deborah to pay for a hotel and get her off the streets. Little did she know that the credit card was stolen, and the hotel reported her to the authorities. Eventually, Deborah was arrested and faced 22 counts of credit card fraud. This felony left her in an even deeper hole.

Although Deborah avoided incarceration, she faced many barriers to finding employment and securing housing due to her arrest. In the ‘80s, reentry programs were little and far between, so she remained homeless and hopeless.

Support from a Stranger

One day, Deborah met a retired U.S. Army Officer who invited her to live in his home. Deborah realized she had been given a second chance and worked tirelessly to be of service and become a productive member of society.

This relationship proved to be the saving grace for the officer and herself. For 38 years, Deborah kept the officer’s financial records, helped him through a real estate lawsuit, and became his primary caregiver. Deborah often reflects on the relationship’s impact on her life. “I will never forget his compassion for me. I am a better person today”.

Committed to Giving Back

Today, Deborah volunteers monthly at a local food bank and continues to help others in any way she can. She remains dedicated to her church and support system in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Related Resources

Are you or a loved one homeless? Learn about the different housing options post-incarceration, and search our map for resources in your area.

Published On: May 25th, 2023|Categories: Second Chance Stories|

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!