Darleen Haff is one of six women who, in June, will be the first group to graduate from the Coeur d’Alene Union Gospel Mission program. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Gabe Green)
When Darleen Haff first walked through the doors of Union Gospel Mission in Coeur d'Alene and stood in the chapel under a large cross made with countless nails taken from log cabins, she was on the verge of a transformation. Angry and struggling with substance abuse, Haff, 44, had built walls around herself. But she knew she had three options left - enter the program at the center, spend her life on the streets, or die. Almost two years later, Haff is no longer that person. She smiles as she walks down the hallways of the mission and says hello to women newer to the program, who affectionately call her "mom." Haff is, in her own words, now "stoked" about the life that awaits her as she moves out of the mission and joins five other women in the first graduating class of UGM's Coeur d'Alene program/Keith Cousin, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.