Growing up in the streets of San Francisco, all Nina Christian knew was how to survive day-to-day. Raised by a single alcoholic mother with no role model to look up to, she says, “I had to grow up quickly.”
wing up too fast was not easy and came with a price – by the age of 14, Christian was pregnant with a baby girl and living on $30 a month through government assistance. In 1991, she lost her mother, increasing the pressure to work harder to provide for her family.
“The death of my mother sent me into a downward spiral,” says Christian, the executive director of Goldies Care Homes in Hayward.
She began selling drugs for a man who took her under his wing as a “drug mule.” Through endless nights of suffering mental, physical, and emotional abuse, Christian started to get deeper in the street business; but she began to make plans to escape that lifestyle.
After running away from that life, Christian met and later married the love of her life. As cruel as life can be, her husband was gunned down in San Francisco in 2000 and she was left with five children and many years of depression.
After enduring the trauma of losing her mother and husband, Christian turned her life over to God and enrolled at Chabot College to complete classes in Early Childhood Development. After completing her classes at Chabot, Christian became a foster parent.
Christian says that, from her life experiences, she believes in helping the less privileged and reducing homelessness city by city. Christian opened her first independent living facility in Hayward in 2006 and, over the past seven years, Goldies Care Homes has expanded to seven houses.
“Our goal is to provide homes to adults with mental disabilities, history of incarceration and to reduce homelessness in our society,” Christian says of her facility, which provides clothing to adults looking for gainful employment through the “Goldie Closet” program.
Goldies Care Homes is achieving this through partnerships with hospitals, mental health programs, non-profits and criminal justice institutions. For more information, visit www.goldiescarehomes.org or call 1-866-246-1457.