I have known of Mr. Sleighter's service to the veterans of our community since prior to the establishment of his Veteran's Shelter in Inverness in 2010 - his kindness and caring had provided food and some respit to those struggling to get on their feet - myself included. Many times, he offered to assist with a place to "get you back on the right track", yet I demurred, feeling that his services should go to those more in need than I: at the time, though I was transient and working only occasionally, I still believed myself capable of continued existence without continuous support.Until this year.I found myself without a place to live, struggling with depression and suicidal ideation, no work prospects, and no one who I could comfortably ask for assistance... save Mission in Citrus. I asked to borrow a tent... there were none, but the staff (tenants of the Inverness Shelter itself) were helpful and made sure I left with enough food to sustain myself a few days, and a promise Jim would pick up a tent. That very evening, Jim HIMSELF went to Wal-Mart and picked up a tent, letting me know I was welcome to pick it up... and AGAIN offered me the opportunity to stay at the shelter (with identification verification against any potential legal entanglements and a DD214 to show veterans' status).I still felt I could do better without clogging up the facility. I mean, a grown man SHOULDN'T have to ask for help, right?After two days of self reflection and rumination, I decided to accept his generous offer.After two and a half years of fluctuating residency, living on the couches of others, struggling to make ends meet, feeling worthless and 'a drain on society', I meekly moved into the Inverness shelter.Sleeping on a bed has never felt so luxurious.A hot shower never so wonderful.being able to clean oneself and one's clothes regularly raises the spirits.And having (even in this secular world) someone who's Faith has built their reputation and their service in the actual spirit of that Faith, well...An aside: As I think about this, I'm crying - tears of joy.I have been at the Inverness shelter a little over four weeks now - as of date, I've only missed one VA appointment (my fault - worked over the weekend and overslept the morning of my lab), have had more response to my applications for employment (two offers in less than a month, as opposed to earlier attempts often going as long as a year without an interview or even notification), and will be volunteering with Mission in Citrus with their web presence and SEO for the charity overall (was asked to help... and you're darn right I will!); allowing me to put forth my best effort to advance a wish I have had for over 20 years... to help a business with it's IT department AND to advance my own interests in web marketing.So many opportunities opening... and granting one thing long since denied (IMO): HOPE.This place is where angels rest their wings. I have seen this.Folks on their downside aided with the tools to get their own life back on track. It's NOT Jim's job to do so... it's a service he himself espouses as per his Christian Faith to those who gave their word and their blood to defend this nation. Not for personal gain, either... he's doing it because he WANTS to see his charges happy, healthy, living right, and ON THEIR FEET.It's not 'a handout' around here, either. Residents are expected to be 'grown folk' about things: Keeping the bills paid, the house presentable, and all of us 'work' the facility as it's our job... because it's WE who are the 'face' of Mission in Citrus. WE who are the culinary staff, the maintenance team, the IT department (raises hand)... US. Not some outside agency, not some group reliant on outside funding (such as DVA, a church, etc.) and that is by design - it allows our facility to work with a level of autonomy for its members no other place - in this county, state, or possibly the nation - can match.It gives we who live here a renewed faith in ourselves and our own abilities. It aids our Fraternity members who may suffer psychological issues opportunity to resocialize as men and women, as Humans. It's OUR house, so to speak... to treat with respect... This, though a temporary shelter, is our HOME. These men and women, Fraternal brothers and sisters, our family. And this... we'll defend.HOOAH.
The first time i got here to the mission i was afraid. I was thinking if everything was going to be alright for me and my three kids with other people there ,but thank God they received me and my kids with open arms like family and i really appreciate the mission for giving me and my kids the opportunity of being here,for opening the doors for me and my kids Thank God we have a place to stay .Thank you Mission In Citrus
My name is Jack i came to the mission in citrus with nothing but the clothes on my back and the staff is very friendly and they treat me very well if not for the mission i would still be living in the woods with no warm place to sleep or food to keep me warm and a safe place
The mission has done a lot for me and i like the atmosphere here and my sister brought me here and i am off the streets and have a warm bed and the staff is very wonderful and james sleighter is a wonderful person and i also have food and running water
i am very thankful for this place.. they have me out.. if wasn't for them i am not sure where i would be.. they have taken a lot of stress off shoulders.. i am working hard on getting my child back and they are helping to me get her.. i even got a job.. i am just thankful for a roof over my head, clothes, food, and bed to sleep in..
my name is michelle dorman i come to the mission about 4 months ago and it has taught me me to be more aware and the mission staff katherine romanowski and jim sleighter and john romanowski are the best people they are caring loving respectful the mission is the best i dont know where i would of been with out the mission i have never been in this situation but im glad i came here they help with finding work and with encouragement to all of us i just love all here
the humble mission in citrus unlike most shelters any where a safe harbor where people matter and people really care and it is a good shelter to be at
hello my name is Jessica Willis i am homeless and four months pregnant and the mission has helped me in so many ways and i'm very thankful for them they helped me get home to my family for the holidays and i am greatly appreicieated.... they are truly a god send i have stayed here befofre and i have had the same experience that i had this time... they staff are so warm welcoming and very nice people and the residents are as well everyone helps everyone and you could not ask for a better place...
My name is Earl i came to stay at the mission in citrus after finding my self not wanting to be in the woods any longer and no place to sleep so the kind folks at the mission took me in and i am very grateful that they allowed me to be part of their family
My name is Jennifer I am a disabled veteran who was homeless and stayed at the Mission in Citrus. They have done such great work helping me and my family that I still go and volunteer there, I refer other veterans and homeless people to them and families in need. I also have let the director know that at anytime if there is someone that needs to speak with me about a situation close to what mine was I am available an will help. So much help was given to me and I love giving that help in return. The Mission is a blessing to everyone who's lives it touches.
The Mission in Citrus Veteran's Shelter was an absolute godsend to me.
I'd been homeless twice before in my 56 years here on earth and the situation was certainly one which I didn't want to experience again. I've no one to blame but myself as the use of illicit drugs, among a number of other bad choices I've made in my life ( I've twice attempted suicide), were the primary reasons I'd become homeless in the first place.
Up until July of this year things were looking up for me and I'd found some light at the end of the tunnel; I had a decent job and a decent place in which to live. But because of the bad health and physical pain I was in, I would end up losing it all: my job, my home, and last but not least, my sense of self-worth. Then it hit --
I was heading toward the woods, to live in the woods, actually, when I'd heard of the Mission in Citrus Shelter and made the decision to make that painful phone call, the plea for help to the Crystal River Shelter. They opened their hearts and doors to me and invited me in. After three days of living there I was told that the veteran's shelter in Inverness had room for another vet, and I am a veteran.
The day I arrived there I was welcomed with open arms and I felt so overwhelmed and loved that I thought I was in Heaven. God gave me a family that I hadn't had in years. I thank God and the Mission for being my angel from Heaven every day and will always be grateful for them. They truly care about every person that they come to know and help. I thank God from the bottom of my heart. God bless brother Jim and everyone involved in this cause.
God bless all an thank you,
Robert D. Wegman (U.S. Army veteran)