Hello, I would like to share a story about a woman I once knew. Her name is Missy. Many years ago, she was living on the streets, addicted to drugs and alcohol. She wasn't always homeless and did not choose the life she was living. In her previous life, things were much different. Missy was a single mother raising her 8 year old son, working full time as a certified nursing assistant. Things were pretty rough at times but she always seemed to manage and figure out a way to get by. Unfortunately, things changed drastically in her life. Missy lost her job and sebsequently lost her home, therby forcing to make some of the hardest decisions she would ever have to make. Because her relationship with her parents was always strained she was forced to leave her son with them. Nothing seemed to matter to Missy after that day. Missy ended up living in 6 states, just surviving. She lived on the streets, sleeping in aisles,parks, cars, tents, and rest areas. She ate out of trash cans and even stole food. After some kids had been taunting her and throwing rocks at her. She suddenly had no reason to live, no purpose. She had planned to bring it all to an end. As it turned out, God had other things in store. I can share this story with you because this woman I once knew was "ME". I told you this story because God gave me the opportuntiy to be blessed. I don't feel like a victim. "I feel victorious because of people like Arch and other agencies that have been such a big part of my like. That cared about that hurt person, instead of closing their eyes to it! I got a second chance to be a productive citizen because of people like you who care about people like me, just "Ordinary me". I don't have to say, PLEASE GOD WHY! anymore. I know why: Because I am fearless and wonderfully made!! Since then I have earned my bachelors degree in criminal justice,and social work. I am now employed working in the helping field as a case worker. I also recently purchased my first home with the help of Arch and eastern eight. sometimes All you need is someone to believe in you! Thank you, could never be enough. Melissa
I first became associated with ARCH around 2002 while working for Creative Energy, a local advertising agency who was helping out with promotional materials for ARCH. My knowledge was limited at the time but I have since, in recent years, become much more aware of the wonderful impact they are having, not only in the local community, but throughout the northeast Tennessee region. In 2007, I was appointed to attend monthly ARCH meetings at the request of my supervisor at Tennessee Community Services Agency. Through these meetings,my volunteer work with point-in-time and the 2008 Gala planning, I have witnessed an organization brimming with passionate and concerned leaders who have unified in one accord to bring hope and relief to those suffering from homelessness in our area. I am amazed at how far the organization has come and at how many lives have been impacted since the inception. I hold ARCH, the Board and members in highest regard and look forward to seeing many more individuals and families set free from the grip of homelessness through the mission and efforts of this wonderful organization.