Lin Leivestad moved back to Norway with her daughter Natasha after completing her stay at Tender Life. She still stays very connected through phone calls and e-mail. Lin has offered to share a bit of her story with you. Lin is a very brave young woman who worked hard to get her life back.

I get scared when I think about where I would be without Tender Life. Like so many other girls in their care I too came from an abusive relationship. Too easily could I have ended up right where I was at: skid row; an existence filled with drugs, lies and crime. It was everywhere around me. But because I was married I tried my hardest to “stand by my man” and give him the benefit of the doubt. A bad habit that caused me pain and a little trouble while staying at Tender Life… But Tender Life recognized the problems and taught me that I do not have to put up with abuse and disrespect, married or not. I do have the right to stand up for myself and I am worth something. Through all the great classes that Tender Life offers, I have learned to be independent by focusing on my needs and goals. Too may of the girls at Tender Life come from relationships where they have been harassed, disrespected and mistreated and left with a feeling of no dignity and little or no self-esteem. You do not want to teach your child that it’s OK to be abused. That’s not a value. While at Tender Life I also found the love of God and with His guidance I now feel I am “back on track”. I’ll be a full time student as of this fall, aiming for a bachelor’s in social studies. I am raising my daughter on my own and she is healthy, happy and blissfully unaware of the hurdles and hardships her mother has walked through.



This Testimony was given by one of the Tender Life Transition Home residents. She offered to share her story at one of our fundraisers and it brought many of the guests to tears. Her success story is truly a MIRACLE.

When I first came to Tender Life I was pregnant with my youngest daughter Madison. I had been living in an abusive situation and an environment of drugs and alcohol. I dove right into the program at Tender Life and took advantage of all the classes, counseling and life skills opportunities. I felt safe while living there and because I was gaining emotional health I was able to fight and regain custody of my other daughter Gretchen.

I love my 2 daughters very much and wanted the best possible future for them both. Because of this I gave the father an opportunity to prove himself when he got out of jail and become the father he said he wanted to be. I left Tender Life with hopes that we would have of the nice house with the white picket fence and dog in the yard. It didn’t take long for my dreams to shatter and drugs alcohol and abuse again invaded my life.

I have always had the desire to do great things with my life and knew I had the ability to accomplish anything I set my mind to. I was a good student in school and excelled academically. My poor choices with men, and other addictions haunted me and kept me from a life of stability and personal success. I had reached the end of my rope. I needed to turn my life around completely or lose my daughters and this would kill me.

I humbled myself and went back to Tender Life. I knew they could help me sort my life out and give me the tools to pull it together. They accepted me back into the program. And for the last several months I have fought for my emotional and spiritual health. Classes on Anger Management, Codependency, boundaries self esteem, parenting and recovery are all part of my growth. Today as I stand here talking to you all, I have completed my recovery. I am in my 2nd semester at Ventura College. I am holding an A average and am pursuing a career in teaching. I plan on transferring to UCSB. I am working on getting my drivers license and hope to get a car. I have gained an immense amount of self-pride and a tremendous sense of accomplishment. My daughters are now 8 and 4. Gretchen is doing very well in school and is an honor role student. She takes dance classes now and sings in our church choir. Madison just learned how to print her name and she is very proud of herself. My daughters are also proud of me and those that are close to me are amazed at how well I am doing. I am on that road towards personal success and I am accomplishing my goals. Life is good and I am determined. Of all the rewards life could give me the greatest one by far is the look in my 2 daughters eyes. They look up to me, and they want to be like me and that’s a GOOD THING.



This Tender Life Resident has recently been promoted to a staff position. Her dedication and appreciation for the program allows her to lead with enthusiasm. She has also been through some hard knocks so she can share with other women who are pregnant and have been abandoned that a crisis can be turned into an opportunity.

Before I came to Tender Life my life was pointless. I was on drugs and going nowhere. I lost my job. The house I lived in got sold. I was pregnant and had no place to go and I have no family. I remembered an ad I saw about Tender Life. I phoned to set up an interview and to learn more about what they had to offer. After speaking with the Director I knew that the Lord brought me there. I came to Tender Life because I had no place to go. I’m staying there because I love the program and all of the positive things they have to offer. I delivered my baby Wysper on August 31st. She brings out the best in me. I know that she doesn’t want a drug addict for a mom or a mom who could go to jail. I want her to be proud of me. The Lord has given me a reason to live. My daughter makes me want to do the best I can. I am now attending college. I haven’t been in school for 20 years but I’m working hard so that I can provide for my daughter.