(Memphis) Valore Granger-Cathey walks with a new purpose in life.
“I can not describe the joy, the freedom my soul has. I am not just surviving today, I am living.”
Valore’s life now is a stark contrast to world she was born into in Chicago.
“My mom was an alcoholic and my dad was an addict.”
Things only got worse when her father walked out of her life.
“My mom continued to be an alcoholic. It was a lot of domestic violence in the family and I ended up getting raped by her(mother’s) boyfriend.”
Her mom later abandoned her and left her with a person who was supposed to be a friend..
“The woman she left me with was child abusing me. I would have bruises. She attempted to cut my finger and kept me in a captivity for three months at a time.”
Valore was scarred in more ways than one. By the time she got to be 13 she started drinking, smoking pot and she turned to cocaine.
“So, that’s when it really started going down hill when I started snorting cocaine and hooking up drug guys.”
Valore didn’t know she had a problem.
“I thought that’s how you live getting high and living in the fast life.”
The fast life led to becoming a teenage mother who did what she could to feed her children.
“Uh, prostitution, selling drugs and making runs for people, whatever means necessary.”
But Valore said her life reached its lowest point when she went to the city of Atlanta and almost died in a hospital.
“I almost came close to death cause I ended up having cardiac arrest with my second daughter and they had to bring me back.”
That near death experience was a wake up call.
“Ever since then I’ve been trying to get my life together. After that incident I received by GED. I’ve had some college education.”
But she wanted more out of life and one day showed up at the front door of the Salvation Army’s Renewal Place asking for help on a stormy day in Memphis.
“She(case worker) said “you walked here and I said yes and she said you want this don’t you? I said yes.”
She said she did it for her daughter.
“She deserves a better mother and I know this wasn’t what God wanted me to.”
The Renewal Place program put her on a path to sobriety, being a better parent and finding employment.
“Some days I just cry and hug them and say thank you for saving my life.”
It’s a lifesaving experience for Valore Granger-Cathey and it’s thanks to the work being done at the Salvation Army.
“They are awesome people. They are God sent people and I wouldn’t trade it for a million dollars. I wouldn’t. My prayers have been answered.”
Valore plans to complete her college credits and become a substance abuse counselor.