Medford, Ore. — NBC5 News is partnering with Access to start a community discussion, and bring you an in-depth look into the lives of people who are homeless, have been homeless, or who are very close to it.
In her 20’s, Cassandra Grace Selk turned to drugs after a family tragedy, and ended up at the Medford Gospel Mission. Years later, she left her home in Arizona to return to Southern Oregon, in order to give back to the Mission, and those who live there.
“I got a $150 plane ticket for the very next day, I grabbed a pair of pants, shirt, jacket and I came up here,” Selk recalled.
After a phone call with the director, she knew she was needed. She left her Arizona home and everything in it to her 19 year old daughter. Selk said the decision was easy.
“I am truly indebted to the Women’s Gospel Mission,” Selk said.
Selk’s life didn’t start out easy; her mom divorced her in court at 12 years old.
“I was in and out of foster homes, group homes, juvenile hall,” Selk said.
From her teens into her early twenties, her life took a turn, and she found stability.
“I was a senior loan processor for eight and a half years for mortgages down in Arizona, I had my head on straight,” Selk said. “I was making $150-thousand a year at 21.”
It was then when tragedy struck her family.
“My Mom, my Grandma, and my Grandpa all committed suicide, and so when I found out about it, I lost my mind,” Selk recalled. “And so I started using drugs.”
She credits the Gospel Mission for getting her clean, back on her feet, and back to her faith. Looking back now, she says the rough road she’s taken has given her a unique gift,
“A lot of things happened as a child that I didn’t understand how if there was a God, how could he allow these things to happen,” Selk said. “And it was so I could turn and help somebody else who’s gone through the same thing.”
Selk just returned from Arizona, on a trip to visit her kids. She plans on staying in Southern Oregon long term.
For more information on local resources available, visit soclosetohomeless.org.
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