A Transforming Love
Through supportive housing, Ashley Cheek encounters life-changing love and grace in her recovery community.
Ashley Cheek was exposed to drugs and alcohol as a young teenager. Raised in a turbulent family environment where substance abuse and mental health issues were normal, Ashley found acceptance in a crowd at school that encouraged drinking and smoking. By her late teens and early twenties, she was heavily using hard drugs.
Like so many in the throes of addiction, Ashley’s battle ebbed and flowed. In her mid-twenties she fought hard to straighten up, get clean, and regain custody of her son. She went back to school and got a mortuary degree, all while working two jobs.
“That’s when I discovered alcohol,” Ashley says. “I switched the witch for the devil, so to speak.”
After a huge relapse, Ashely found herself pregnant with an ankle monitor during the COVID-19 pandemic. In need of a place to live, she started reaching out for housing, but everywhere she turned led only to dead ends. By God’s grace, a chance conversation with a woman at the crisis pregnancy center directed Ashley to Grace Church. She quickly connected with Lee Anne Cavin and the housing team, and by June 2019, she was placed in a home.
One of the requirements of the housing covenant agreement is for residents to attend a recovery program. Isolated and calloused, Ashley started re:generation, not expecting God to move significantly in her life.
“I thought I was on another planet,” Ashley says of her re:gen experience. “It was unbelievable the love and support that they were giving to a complete stranger. It was a type of love I didn’t think was possible from another human being. It changed my life. It pointed me straight to Christ.”
From resident activities to relationships with the Grace Church Care & Recovery staff, Ashley felt seen and loved. During her time in the program, there was not a birthday or sobriety date that went uncelebrated, and all the resources she needed to excel, from counseling to medical services, were provided.
Ashley and her daughter officially graduated from the Grace Housing program this summer. Now financially stable, Ashley’s in a job she loves and will be getting married in September. For future residents of the program, now called Front Porch Housing, Ashley encourages them to be willing, open, and honest.
“There are no words for what this experience has been for me,” Ashley says “It’s almost unbelievable. It’s been the sweetest experience. It’s not been easy, but it’s been beautiful.”
For more on Front Porch Housing and how you can be involved, visit frontporchhousing.com