Six months ago Candelaria Perez sat in the Fresno County Jail wanting to change her life. She says she was dragged to bars with her alcoholic mom as a child. Perez was pregnant by age 14 and battered by the father of her children for 14 years.
Perez says drugs, alcohol and hate finally brought her down. She sought help at Rescue the Children, a new program developed by the Fresno Rescue Mission to minister to families in crisis.
Deborah Torres of the Fresno Rescue Mission said they have mothers and children at the facility.
"We also have single women without children that we're able to serve here," Torres said. "The whole idea is that we're going to serve them in a safe, secure environment, to help them become godly independent women to give back to society and not just take from it."
Two years ago the Fresno Rescue Mission discovered the old Vagabond Inn near Highway 99 and Clinton Avenue was up for sale.
The mission bought the place for $2 million with private donations and they still receive no state or federal monies.
The first phase of the project is complete, with 75 rooms for women, and up to 100 children. The new area also has laundry and kitchen facilities, play places and swimming pools.
Phase two will include a remodeled kitchen and open land.
In the next couple of months this land will be transformed into playing fields for the kids, a community garden for the women and an outdoor amphitheater for guests.
As the physical appearance of Rescue the Children changes over time the spirits of dozens of women and children will be forever touched.