Client Story: Carissa

Carissa, 32, said she struggled with mental illness and substance abuse since age 15.

After 18 months of staying at a substance abuse treatment facility where she received counseling and support from peers, she transitioned to a new apartment of her own.

Thanks to YOU, Carissa no longer sleeps on an air mattress or eats off paper plates on the floor. She received 13 pieces of furniture, linens and pots and pans from The Mustard Seed to make her house into a home.

“I am so very grateful to be alive and healthy today,” Carissa said. “Now, at 32, I have finally decided to turn my life around and get help. I lost everything through my addiction, including custody of my now 5-year-old daughter.”

Carissa’s mother has been taking care of her daughter since the child was 2 years old. Carissa said she will be regaining custody of her daughter soon. But she now finds herself unemployed.

When Carissa admitted herself into a drug recovery center, she landed a job as a server at a national restaurant chain where she worked for 18 months. However, about a month before Carissa moved into her new apartment, she was laid off because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Carissa said she saved up money – only enough to secure an apartment and buy a car for the first time in years – while she was receiving substance abuse treatment. Prior to buying a car, Carissa said she walked everywhere or took public transportation. Carissa said thankfully she was able to apply for unemployment benefits. Carissa no longer has to worry about being able to afford home furnishings, which lifts a huge weight off her shoulders, she said.

“I will forever be grateful for everyone involved in making The Mustard Seed function in helping others,” Carissa said. “I hope to continue to help others in our community as well, by sharing my story and hoping to encourage others that living mentally stable and sober is possible if you do the work.”

To help rebuild lives like Carissa’s, donate here.

Client Story: Alphonso

Alphonso, 67, ended up homeless after serving two tours in the Vietnam War. He lived on the streets and turned to alcohol to help mask his uncomfortable circumstances, he said. After receiving housing assistance from Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) and home furnishings from The Mus…

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Client Story: Dewayne

Dwayne, who served in the Army for 4 ½ years, said he’s spent much of his adulthood in unstable situations, but thanks to YOUR SUPPORT, he’s hoping his future is brighter. “I have lived in six different states,” the 31-year-old said. “I’ve never been able to stay in one place for two y…

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Client Story: Richard

Richard, a Navy veteran, along with his wife, Holly, and daughter, Ariel, found themselves homeless after the owner of the house they rented decided to sell it. The timing couldn’t have been worse. Richard injured his back and knee in the Navy and needs surgery. The pain is unbearable and makes …

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Latest News

Safr Partners with Mustard Seed To Help Those in Need Re-Establish a Home

April 29, 2020

The Mustard Seed of Central Florida is proud to partner with Safr, a new ridesharing service dedicated to the safety and empowerment of women. The company will be providing free rides to The Mustard Seed’s program participants and its affiliate network from Monday, May 4, through Sunday, May 31, to … read more

Our GoFundMe Campaign

April 15, 2020

During this critical time, The Mustard Seed hopes to get back to being fully operational so we can assist more people in need. We have set up a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $5,000. Your donation, of any amount, will go a long way in assisting people who have nothing and are eating and sleepi… read more