To say Tina Malone has had a tough life ... is an understatement.
Sexually abused and then abandoned at age 6, Malone spent years in and out of foster homes before finally ending up on the streets of Houston at only age 12.
"At the age of 14 I started dancing at the club," she said. "I mean, I've done the drugs, I've done the prostitution, I've done the dancing. I've lived that life."
Those rough years ultimately led to a stay in prison. But while serving hard time, Malone did something that would change the rest of her life.
"I got saved when I was locked up and I met a man named Jesus and he changed my life."
Malone became a Christian. She knew that upon being released from prison she couldn't go back to Houston. It was too risky to fall back into old habits. The only place she could find willing to take her in was the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission in Corpus Christi.
"I'd never been outside of Houston," she said. "That's just where I was born and raised and been. And I said, we'll okay, let's do it.".
Malone arrived at the Good Samaritan in late 2002. And she has never looked back.
Working her way up over the years, she's now the food services supervisor at Good Samaritan, in charge of the kitchen.
And she's proud of her work, committed to cooking good food day after day. But she's also committed to helping the homeless men and women who take refuge and find meals at the mission.
"It was just a very hard hard life for me and that's why I understand people here," she said. "Because you really cannot understand somebody's life unless you have walked in their shoes."
So every day, Malone wakes up at 2 a.m. to start preparing breakfast for the 200 men and women who visit the shelter. She makes everything from scratch, she says.
As soon as breakfast is over, she starts preparing for lunch. And then again for dinner.
Malone not only works at Good Samaritan, she also lives there -- and she says there's no place she'd rather be.
"This is my family. This is not just my job. This is my home."
When Malone isn't cooking, she's ministering. In fact, she's the only female minister at the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission.
Can't find something?