From motherhood and experiencing homelessness as a teen to a successful published author and entrepreneur, Molly Bates took all the love and skills she met at Covenant House and turned her life completely around.
“I was often sexually abused throughout my childhood and adolescence since I was four or so. After being violated by my mother’s boyfriend, she blamed me and kicked me out of the house.” With her father in jail, Molly had no place to go but on the streets. She used to see kids hanging out outside of Covenant House but did not know quite what was inside until she decided to approach someone about the center and then finally called. “When I arrived, I could feel the love - that is what drew me in and that is what made me stay. I could feel right away that it was a place of order, and that is what I needed the most and, in fact, I learned that is what I thrive on.”
Molly had a job at a daycare when she came to Covenant House, but she needed a safe place to stay. She continued working while at the center and attended night school. “I felt good that they didn’t crack down on me too hard because I already had a child and work responsibilities; I didn’t need to be treated like a child, and I wasn’t. But I paid attention to the rules because I did not want to be out on the street again. Although I did go to another shelter for a short while, it did not feel like home. Home was Covenant House - where I could feel their hearts, where they put love into me and groomed my heart. Even the cooks warmed my heart as much as filled my stomach. I knew I wanted to take this love that was instilled in me and bring it to others.”
However, it took some time and a few detours before she was able to finally say she “made it.”
After acquiring life skills while at the shelter, such as budgeting, cooking, sexual health, shopping, cleaning along with getting a license to drive, Molly went into transitional housing where she lived until she was 21. However, when she left there, she had savings from her earnings, but had no credit to get her own apartment. So, she needed to live with her boyfriend and his Mom. When that did not work out, she was back on the streets again. “I went back into survival mode but carried the tools that I learned while at Covenant House and eventually found a place and have never been homeless since.”
Molly, now a mother of three, has since written and published a book about her life story. It is called, Mourning Glory: No Past Is Too Dark For God’s Glory. She tells of the horrors of her childhood and adolescents, her passage through Covenant House, the dark choices she continued to make as a result of her past and how she eventually came to know Jesus. “The book is dedicated to all women who have mourned at one point in their lives.” In addition to being an author, Molly also has an online clothing boutique and speaks professionally about her experiences and about her views on life. “I have dedicated my life to helping women heal and become better versions of themselves, no matter their backgrounds or life challenges.”
“I’ve found that whatever life brings, learn from it, master it, and then teach others. It takes time; you need patience in life. It is not easy, but keep pushing, keep being positive and look at the fruits of your efforts. I believe God has put people in my life, especially Covenant House, to get me to my goals. The life skills that I learned there have also successfully saved me especially through the challenges of the pandemic.”