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.
I am very very thankful for this mission. The people here have been friendly, and very helpful in my time of need. They've given me food, shelter, and helped with all my needs.
The mission in citrus is a blessing for the less fortunate who have encountered unfortunate circumstances in their lives. It is a place where no one is judged, and everyone is treated like a person instead of a statistic. After loosing my sons father, i was graciously embraced, and received things to help ease the burden of such a horrible time in our lives, and am still reached out to by Jim to assure we are doing ok. People have a stereo type of the homeless, and most times shy away, but fail to realize that at anytime, it could happen to them. Illnesses, deaths, financial, and even emotional hardships are not prejudice to anyone...it is a fact of life, and sadly it happens daily to folks just like me and you. Jim and his staff work diligently to help as many people as they can reach, up to and INCLUDING children, and infants. God bless.
I was homeless after I stayed with my sister for a month then I went to the mission in citrus . I have been homeless for over 4years due to the economy as well as family problems. My sister found the Mission in Citru Shelter so i would have a place to stay. Not only did the mission give me a place to stay,they helped me get food stamps. If not for Jim i would probably still be homeless.
The Mission in Citrus in one organization that I totally believe in. Its run by one man's trials and tribulations in life, not some corporation that just look at numbers. The success is unreal.
This is a wonderful program trying to help as many homeless people as possible.
Review from Guidestar
The Mission has been life-changing for me. I have seen first hand the generosity of people and the appreciation of the ones receiving.
My name is Katherine Hicks i come to live at the mission in citrus after losing my home it has been very good and everybody is very caring and understanding and i have been treated like i am actually family.
Review from Guidestar