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These women bounced back from homelessness, and now they're helping others in need

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BY REYNA HARVEY, KBAK

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., (CIRCA via KBAK) -- On any given day in California there are an estimated 134,000 people living on the streets, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Shadonna Hill and Erica Boone know firsthand the challenges that come with being homeless.

The two women who are now both working at the Mission at Kern County were homeless for several years and are now working to help others gain stability.

Hill is a student and a mother of five. After losing her husband to cancer, she struggled with addiction.

"So, when I lost my husband to cancer that’s when I lost myself," Hill said. “It was just too much for me to bear and I ended up using. Then, I wanted to get myself clean.”

The Mission at Kern County opened its doors to Hill and provided her with the life skills to find stability.

"Here I am three years and 26 days later giving back to a community that gave to me and that loved me for me," Hill said.

Like Hill, Erica Boone also fell on hard times, struggling with addiction on and off for about 15 years.

Boone is a coordinator and program assistant at the Mission at Kern County, she enjoys helping others and said homelessness is more common than you think.

"It can happen to anybody, you don't just have to be a drug addict, you could have lost your job, gone through a divorce, you could have have lost maybe someone who took care of you it could happen quickly," Boone said.

Shadonna and Erica have found a friendship in one another as they work together to uplift other women who walk through the same doors they did and come out the other side.

"If it were not for God and that program I would not be here today," Hill said.

Learn more about the Mission at Kern County and the programs it offers.

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