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March 20, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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March 20, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

The homeless in rural Florida have proven what I believed in all along. That they could help each other without paid staff, when given the proper resources. Homeless veterans, men, women, and children have shown that they can take a hand up, instead of a handout, and get their lives back in order. In less than three years there were five shelters; two for homeless Veterans.

We recently closed one shelter because the Mission in Citrus eliminated 75% of the homeless Veteran problem in Citrus County, and due to the slowdown in our present economy. Our shelters are geared to operate at the lowest cost, and to be moved or closed when necessary. They are located close to jobs and resources.

Close to 450 former residents still keep in contact with me through email, Facebook, or phone. I am so very proud of them, as their accomplishments are no less than a miracle. We are not faith based but live by faith. No one is forced to go to church, but over 90% attend services each week at the church of their choice. Our saying is that God runs things around here. And He does. Miracle after miracle has occurred during the past four years. A Good Samaritan to all in need. We are struggling now, as we have been denied funding because we do not have anyone who can write grants properly. But we are working on that. And all of the praise, glory, and honor, we give to God for all His blessings.

Over two thousand people were helped back into society since 2009, by using fewer dollars and more sense. Their success record is 80%, which is much higher than the national average. There are no security cameras or locked doors. Our foundation is based on that no one should lose their freedoms that so many Veterans have died for, unless they are a criminal. Since February 1st 2013, over 42 people moved into homes with jobs. That may seem small to many, but it was over 50% of our residents living at our shelters. Fourteen were children. Five were entire families.

Our 1st Veteran's shelter was opened on less than $5000, and a lot of faith. It is now approaching its fourth year of operation. Veterans have returned to society into their own homes after receiving their much deserved benefits. Similar shelters were built using millions. Formerly homeless Veterans run the shelter, after being helped themselves. All give a volunteer commitment. Fund raising is now in progress to increase their capacity. Our second shelter was designed after the John Wayne-type outposts in the old west. In rural areas, the homeless have to walk between 12-50 miles for help and services. The outpost provided meals, shelter, laundry, showers, and much more. It served many Veterans living in the woods and swamps, and those traveling around the country. The model was highly successful, before it’s closing due to lack of funds... Our next project is a mobile command center called Angels on Wheels. It will be able to help Veterans in any area with full service. The mobile vehicle will enable the Mission in Citrus to reach out to many Veterans, who are currently receiving little to no help.

“If we do not help them, who will?”

The Mission in Citrus Homeless Shelters were founded in 2008, after the Executive Director “I “became homeless. My research and personal experience showed that traditional shelters were not working, and too much of their budgets were spent on administration expenses, and not on the residents. Too many criminalized homelessness. Most of the homeless are not criminals; they just need the resources to get their lives back in order. A hand up, not a hand out. The focus is on jobs, and our Hire the Homeless program has been highly successful. The residents also help operate the shelter by paying for their upkeep with donations, once they find employment or receive disability. They volunteer thousands of hours to Habitat for Humanity, area food banks, Sertoma Club, Lion's Club, and many other nonprofits. No one is allowed to sit around. All earn their keep.
We have overcome many obstacles in the past four years, from 60 tents to 5 shelters. We had major fights with everyone from the Fire Marshal, Sheriff’s Dept., and many other agencies, including County Commissioners. We now have positive working relationships with all of them. We have earned their respect. We still have a long way to go.

Grant writing is hard because there is little time after helping so many people each day. We beg for 80% of our operating funds using collections sites, such as Wal-Mart, and County flea markets. Over 1000 people were helped last year with $120,000. The Mission in Citrus continues to fight for homeless rights. Our emails are sent to numerous government officials each day. Homelessness can decrease through more accountability of dollars. One shelter gets Federal funds, while operating at an annual cost of $38,000 a bed. It is cheaper to go to Harvard.

Our residents age from four days old to 72 years old. The new face of homelessness has become many homeless women and children. We are expecting two new babies in the next month. The days of the old homeless stereotype are over. The present economy is taking no prisoners.
Our long term goals are to share our system with others, and to increase our homeless Veterans beds by 150 by buying a motel. We soon hope to start a successful in-house drug and alcohol treatment shelter. The Mission in Citrus could easily become a movie as so many miracles have occurred there. When I turned 51 last year, over 200 former residents visited, Face booked, emailed, or called. That does not happen at normal shelters.

They take great pride as they have become a family, and lift each other up. We have two quotes. “If we do not help them…Who will? “And “We follow the parable of the good Samaritan.” We help all in need. In our history, we have never failed to feed and help anyone who has entered our gates. We even take food and water into the woods and swamps for many hard core Veterans, who have lost faith in society.

About The Mission in Citrus

Our Mission is to help all in need to the best of our ability. We follow the parable of the Good Samaritan, as there are no requirements for our services. We constantly reinvent the wheel to make it all work. The faces of homelessness can change as well as each individual’s circumstances. And there have been very few that we have not been able to help. Veterans have become our priority as we have seen their suffering the most.

To all the past and present residents of the Mission in Citrus. I am so very proud of you. You made it work. God gave us the direction and help through many. God bless you all and much Love to all of you

James M Sleighter – Founder and Executive Director of the Mission in Citrus

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

March 29, 2014

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March 29, 2014

I have been working with Mission In Citrus since December of 2013 as a Case Manager. They are a homeless shelter in Citrus County FL whose police is "If we don't help them - who will?" The Executive Director goes above and beyond when it comes to the residents. We work on establishing resident needs and then finding ways to meet those needs with the resources we have. If there is a will - there is a way.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

March 25, 2014

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1 previous review
October 25, 2012

The first day I met Pastor Jim I knew his heart was to help the homeless. I have watched him help so many people in need regardless of race, ethnicity, or background. His shelter has given people hope... more

March 25, 2014

I am just a willing vessel for the Lord. I have found over the years that Pastor Jim has a heart of gold. He goes endless days and nights without rest just to be sure the needs of people in this community are met. He fights for a good cause and pushes people to be their best. Pastor Jim is truly on a MISSION FROM GOD and may his efforts be richly rewarded. Many abundant blessings to Pastor Jim and all the residents who have come through these doors.

A Quiet Little Angel
Love You All ... Big Hugs
October 25, 2012

The first day I met Pastor Jim I knew his heart was to help the homeless. I have watched him help so many people in need regardless of race, ethnicity, or background. His shelter has given people hope, love, spirituality, and forgiveness. He treats others as equal and never looks down on people. His mission is to help the homeless but at the same time is also on a mission from God. I believe because of his faithfulness to serve the homeless and the Lord he is rewarded in more ways than money could ever buy. May he continue in good health and in good spirits with the Lord's hand of protection around each and every person there. God Bless You Pastor Jim. Just a quiet Angel sent to help.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

March 23, 2014

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March 23, 2014

Was living with my father and he wanted some personal space. That is how I became homeless. Since I came to the mission everyone has been kind, helpful with providing resources that I could use to get back on my feet. My goals are to find a job and permanent housing of my own. While talking to people I recommend the mission for help if that is what they need.
March 23, 2014

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March 23, 2014

as a veteran, I have seen this mission as a great jumping off point for those in need. Here to help others, this staff is kind and considerate, both in Inverness and Crystal River. The mission in citrus should be commended for their actions in helping those in need.
March 21, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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March 21, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I have been working here at Mission in Citrus since December and I must say that I look forward to coming to work everyday. It is such a nice environment, I am treated like family, as is everyone who comes here. Jim, the executive director, loves to help people and wants to help as many people as he can. He especially has a heart for veterans. If you give a donation to Mission in Citrus, your donation is going to a great cause!! And if you need a place to stay, I definitely recommend coming here.
March 21, 2014

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1 previous review
July 18, 2012

Jim Sleighter has been a very good person to me. when i first came to the mission, i had never been in this homless situation and needed a place to stay. Jim made me a director over a two year period.... more

March 21, 2014

john ive been sober 9 months inlaws n x sister didn't like that so x sister in law said I was cheating on my wife which I was not but they all belived x sister inlaw so I lost everything n also x sister said family never liked him anyway they held that in for 18 years so that is how I became homeless they said at the drop of a hat get out so I found this place n they r good people n we are all on hard times but we all make it work
July 18, 2012

Jim Sleighter has been a very good person to me. when i first came to the mission, i had never been in this homless situation and needed a place to stay. Jim made me a director over a two year period. Dureing that time i started to get sick. This is my third year here and at present I half to use a wheel chair or a walker if posible. Jim and the mission are my family now and i praise god for giving me a family like them.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

March 13, 2014

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March 13, 2014

I became homeless because of a house fire over a year ago. I had been going to college and had to drop out because I was forced to leave because of the family issues. I am looking for work so I can get my own place and get my kids back. When I first got here I was scared but now its family. They have helped me get my ID and social sercuty card. They even let me know when and where there are job openings for me to apply for.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

February 24, 2014

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1 previous review
July 14, 2012

your the best jim if the lord didnt send me to the mission i dont know where my life would be , i have my freedom back and im around people that understand day to day life and reality god bless u jim more

February 24, 2014

i have been a resident on and off four times now. yes i could not get it right and i had to go back.this last time i was laying in a hospital bed with blood clots that almost killed me.thats when jim showed up to citrus memorial to see me. and he sat with me for about 15 or twenty minutes . then we prayed for my recovery .ladies and gentelmen you have to understand that jim runs all four shelters,his phone is constantly ringing , theres always something that pops up daily good or bad but that is everyday life.i have called him when i was in dallas texas , california ,washington , no matter what time i called he was always there for me. if it was not for the mission and the kind hearts of the staff i dont know what would of happend to me. all i can say is thank you all . im starting a new life again . may GOD bless you all

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Likely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 14, 2012

your the best jim if the lord didnt send me to the mission i dont know where my life would be , i have my freedom back and im around people that understand day to day life and reality god bless u jim

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 15, 2014

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February 15, 2014

JUNE,26 2009 I was riding my bicycle on the side of the road 19 in Homosassa Fla. When I stopped and talk to a man who was known as Hobo Joe. A homeless man. I ask him him where he lived and he told me where evr he could find a a place to lay his head. Then I told him about a program I was at and who was the director and he told me that he left that place not happy.Well at the time I was not happy there either. Hobo Joe told me about the Mission in citrus homeless shelter and that I should go and talk to a man name Jim. He told me what Jim looked like , That he was a big man. So I road my bicycle al the way from Homosassa to Crystal River and found the mission in citrus homeless shelter. It so happens that the big man Jim was standing right out side. I road up to him and told him that Hobo Joe sent me to him to talk to him about geeting into his shelter. And I told him all about me and how I was a country boy raise out of the Ocala National Forrest, That I know how to fish, hunt, track and trap animals. And he then said to me. Do you know that "GOD" sent me to him. And I said no how. He said you just told me you can track animals . can you track people also. I said yes That I can tell the differance between Animal trails and human trails. Then he ask me if I would go out and track and find people in the woods and bring them back to the shelter so we can help them. And I said yes. Then my job in the shelter as we called it bicycle patrol began. Jim really took me under his arm and loved me and taught me alot about love that I did not have in me. And the love from total strangers was so much of a spiritual builder in the mission in citrus that I was at total peace. Each person had there place and job to up hold in the shelter and no one had to ask for help because if someone saw someone needing help they would just join right end and help without being told . they did it out of love for that person in need of help. I have never in my life seen or felt so much love as the LOVE that I felt in a place with people that I did not know than the mission in citrus homeless shelter. People who came from all back grounds of life came together as one happy family full of love for each other working together to help other nw comers coming into the shelter. I WILL SAY "GOD" is the focus in the shelter. people are not made to go to church in there but they go everyone of them. And Boy at the Miracles that I witnessed in the shelter was Amazing, Finacial Miracles, Physical Miracales, Savational Miracales. I am now out and working and living life on lifes terms a better man, a changed man in my heart because of the love that "GOD" showed me in the mission in citrus homeless shelter that was giving to me from people that loved me for who I was and did not judge me for the things in my past but help me get up and go forward to my future. So I say , don't judge people for their past, don't kick a dog when their down, Help people to a better future, give a hand to help them up. And he has no sin cast the first stone. One last words to say. THANK YOU. "GOD" For Mission In Citrus Homeless Shelter. And thank you for Jim Sleighter.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to make changes to the organization, I would not change a thing. Because "GOD" is in it all the way.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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