The Dream Center Transitional Housing for Homeless Veterans | Alesha Greene's Story
I was born in D.C. by a single mother and grew up with her until the age of six. She was loving and encouraging, but she was struggling with substance abuse. I moved in with my grandmother when my mother put herself into rehab. She was a functioning drug addict and was ready to be clean. My grandmother brought me to church regularly and despite my family’s problems, my childhood was filled with love. My dad was around as well, and he and my mom still got along. I was closer to my mother’s side of the family, but I spent time with my father’s side of the family, too. When I was six, I was sexually abused and sodomized by my mother’s friend’s boyfriend while at a sleepover. I never told my mom until I was 17. I am still in the process of working through it.
After high school, I joined the Navy and served onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, but after four years, I left and enrolled in hair school and fell in love and started doing hair on the side. I managed to save $4000 to move to Los Angeles. I came to pursue my dream of being a hairstylist, but I didn’t make enough to cover all my expenses, and I was behind with rent and I eventually became homeless. After a meeting in Skid Row with a homeless veteran’s organization, they connected me to People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), and then they connected me to the Dream Center. I knew nothing about The Dream Center beforehand, all PATH told me was they heard that the Dream Center opened a home for female veterans. I called and went through the interview process. I was accepted, and I moved in two weeks later.
Before the Dream Center, I was a full- time pothead, I was struggling with my sexual identity, and afraid of really discovering who I was. I had a good relationship with my family, but it was distant since we grew apart. My priorities were all materialistic. I was broken hearted, trying to find love and peace. Since being here, I've met God and His never-ending love. I have discipline and have surrendered everything to Him.
When my dream of becoming a successful hairstylist didn’t happen the way I wanted or hoped, I felt like I had made my trip to LA for nothing and that my purpose was lost. I now know my identity is found in Christ and He is my focus. Without him I wouldn't have the life I have now. He is my confidant, hero, and anchor. My relationship with God has made me stronger, open, and more vulnerable. I now value people, I'm more compassionate and gracious to others. My family is stronger, and my future is bright.
I’ve reenlisted into the Navy Reserves so that is an open option for me. I would love to go active again in ten years or so. Currently, I’m in school to become a surgical technician and I look forward to interning at UCLA. The Dream center provided a community of people who exhibit what Christ looks like, His love, grace, truth, service, and faith. The program has taught me how to serve, has helped me work on my heart, and has blessed me with a beautiful house filled with incredible people. The structure of the program has been wonderful in helping me with life skills. I’m learning how to study the word of God on a deeper level. The program has shown me how to be selfless and not only think about myself. It’s encouraged me to do more for the people around me. It has shown me the value of community and to seek God when I feel alone.
~ Alesha Greene
The Dream Center in Los Angeles is a multi-faceted outreach that Jentezen Franklin Media Ministries proudly supports each and every month, and has for over a decade. This has been a testimony from one of the women, Alesha Greene, in the Women’s Veterans’ Home at the Dream Center. With the continued support of our friends and partners, together, we can contribute to housing, food, educational opportunities, addiction recovery, and so much more for emancipated teens, Veterans, homeless, and those desperate for help but with no where else to turn. Most importantly—we're able to share the message of Jesus Christ to each and every one of them!