Graduate ('17) and Alumni Relations Coordinator

“When they prayed for me, I felt a rush of peace in my heart. I stopped crying. I felt that whatever happened from that point forward was in God’s hands. It was a conscious surrender.”

Tara has always had a fun, bubbly personality. But when she lost her mom in 2012, she experienced a profound grief that spiraled into deep depression. “My mom was pretty much my world and when she died, that was it. I had no job. I had nowhere safe to live. I didn’t want to live anymore,” she says.

In the midst of her despair, Tara still found ways to keep going. Even as her life was falling apart, she began working as a volunteer in the Mission’s overnight shelter. “Every day, I would take the train to the Mission to volunteer in the women’s dorms,” she recalls.

One day, Tara set off on her usual path to volunteer with only enough change for one more train ride. “I had no intention of coming back after my shift. I was done,” she says. But instead of going through with harming herself, Tara broke down crying and told a staff member about her suicidal thoughts. The staff member responded by helping Tara check into a hospital.

As they waited for the ambulance, a group of staff members continued to pray for Tara. They prayed for healing and for the Holy Spirit to fill her with peace.

“I think God led me to the Mission that night. I could very easily have taken my life on the way there,” Tara says. “When they prayed for me, I felt a rush of peace in my heart. I stopped crying. I felt that whatever happened from that point forward was in God’s hands. It was a conscious surrender.”

After spending ten days in the hospital, Tara returned to the Mission and entered the Residential Program for women. She was grateful for the bed, food and clean clothes. But she lacked trust in herself and other people. She made a habit of isolating herself from others and declining to participate in activities.

As time went on, though, and Tara continued to be embraced by the Mission’s community of love and safety, her walls began to come down. Her humor and bubbliness slowly came back.


“I witnessed an active Christianity, it wasn’t something you had hammered into you. You saw it in people’s lives. They continued to minister to us and share the Bible with us. Slowly but surely, it began seeping into me.”

She renewed her faith in God and gained more confidence in her own abilities. She entered The Bowery Mission’s mentoring program and went on to write a resume, go on mock interviews and land a new job. By the time she graduated, Tara had returned to her former line of employment — administrative work — and saved enough money to move into her own apartment.

In 2022, five years after graduating from the program, Tara joined The Bowery Mission team as part-time Alumni Relations Coordinator. Working out of the Mission’s Upper East Side campus, she is responsible for building personal relationships with other alumni and connecting them with ongoing resources.

One of the best aspects of her job, she says, is the ability to “pay forward” all the blessings she received in the Mission’s program.


“I have so much more now than I did back then. The difference is that I know now that I’m never really alone. I’m able to pray every day and have conversations with God and ask Him to carry me through.”

She continues: “I have this center, this place I can go to, and that is Jesus. And I have a life of faith, in community, where people pray for one another.”

Tara thanks God daily for the Mission and for the ability to help people who have graduated to stay connected to it.


SOURCES: Tara. Interview by The Bowery Mission, 8 Sept. 2020.; Tara. Interview by The Bowery Mission, 2 Oct. 2017.; The Bowery Mission. “Tara’s Story of Restored Life.” YouTube, 21 Feb. 2021, youtu.be/OVtj6IVjtOs.


Read More Stories

See inspiring accounts of lives transformed through the Mission.

Read More

Get Involved

Learn more about how you can support the life-transforming work of The Bowery Mission.

Learn More


By using the site, you agree to our updated Privacy Notice and Terms of Use