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: Kimberly

Kimberly and her dog, Hasani, a shih tzu poodle mix, lived in a car for two months after moving to Orlando from California. Kimberly, originally from Orlando, worked at a motel in California but had to leave the state after struggling to pay her bills. She contacted homeless shelters in Orlan…

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Client Story: Vidette and Christopher

Vidette and her husband, Christopher, 4-year-old son, Micah, and Vidette’s mother, Dorothy, were upstairs in their townhome dancing to oldies music when their dog started barking downstairs. It was about 2 p.m. on a Saturday in March when the family heard a knock on the door but ignored it, assumi…

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Client Story: Maritza

Maritza, 46, survived the Pulse nightclub shooting that killed 49 victims and wounded 53 others on June 12, 2016. For Maritza, her emotional scars run deep having lost her dear friend, Stanley, who was 23 years old when he was killed at Pulse. “I saw him earlier that night right before the bullets…

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Latest News

Thank you to The Joe & Sarah Galloway Foundation!

December 1, 2021

Our sincerest gratitude and appreciation goes out to The Joe & Sarah Galloway Foundation for its $15,000 grant award to support our Furnishing Basic Stability for Families Program.

Your investment in our mission Makes a House a Home for Central Florida families in need.
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Raise the Table 2021 Photo Gallery

November 10, 2021

We’d like to thank our event sponsors, in-kind sponsors, silent auction donors, Mustard Seed Board of Directors, attendees and volunteers for making our Raise the Table fundraiser a successful event! Thank you for believing in and supporting our mission!

A special thank you to our event emcee Car… read more