(Memphis) Jennifer Jacobs is a 22-year old mother who says she’s finally found peace after a life filled with drinking, drugs and abandonment.
“There was a point where I didn’t know how to love, how to love my own children,” Jacobs said.
Jennifer’s problems began when she was born to drug addicted parents and later lived with her grandparents.
“I started experimenting drinking and doing different things at the age of 12.”
By Junior High school, Jennifer was experimenting with drinking, drugs and then prescription drugs by high school.
“I mixed alcohol with stuff that should have killed me, really have killed me.”
She graduated high school in 2010. but then came several bad relationships and she became pregnant with her first child while still doing drugs.
“I had started smoking meth and my mom and her boyfriend were doing it and I didn’t know I was pregnant.”
She gave birth to a son and briefly stopped smoking meth, but her problems took another turn when she said the father of her child became physically abusive towards their son.
“His dad said that he pulled up on a rocking chair and fell over on him. That’s not, it didn’t fit. The doctors said it was Shaken Baby Syndrome.”
Jennifer lost custody of her son, but she later found out she was pregnant with her daughter, Hope, and she would be temporarily taken from her, as well..
“I was determined not to lose her. I just prayed and prayed and I asked God to lead me in a different direction.”
She said God answered her prayers. When she had her baby, the court sent her to the Salvation Army’s Renewal Place rather than jail.
“The judge ruled for me to come here and for my baby to come with me and that was the most amazing thing I could ever here.”
Jennifer and Hope came to Renewal Place, a transitional housing program for chemically addicted women and their children.
“It’s allowed me to heal. I’m learning so much about myself and what God has in store for me and my kids.”
Renewal Place allows families to stay up to two years as they work towards sobriety, employment and positive parenting.
Jennifer calls it lifesaving.
“I’d probably be dead, honestly. This place has done so much good for me.”
Jennifer says she and her children are healthy and she now gives hope to others needing help just like she did.
“I want to encourage people there’s a higher power that will come in if you just seek help.”
Text Memphis to 80888. It’s an automatic 10 dollar donation to the Salvation Army.
The charge will show up on your phone bill.