Hello. My name is David and I am newly homeless for the first time in my life. I recently turned 50. I'm probably not your stereotypical homeless guy. I tell you this because like many people in the world I thought this could not happen to me. I've always heard that many people live paycheck to paycheck and are only two weeks from homelessness. So here I am. I have a degree. Have worked at the Director level at Fortune-500 companies in retail for 25 years. I am a veteran of the US Army. I have medical certifications, training and experience. I've volunteered throughout my life so I've known a lot about homelessness from that side. Now it is me that's homeless. I want to share my story with you so that you don't end up like me and many others. Also, so that you can better understand how to help if your so inclined. If so, read on. Because I was laid off in NC I couldn't pay my insurance which resulted in the loss of my license. While trying to work was stopped twice for expired tag, driving with suspended license and consequently went to jail over it. I had a tax return and spent every penny on my van. I lived out of my van but was able to work and live knowing I was on my way out of this horrible hole I had dug for myself. Stacking on another bad decision I purchased a tag for $10 from a man trying to save money and the tag had been stolen. I now have a “Petty theft 1st offense” conviction preventing me from working in any job in my retail or sales fields. I lost my van, my home and all of my belongings while in jail for 20 days. I was accepted into a homeless shelter recently but their restrictions were difficult. I was ejected daily from 7am to 3pm. So I had a roof, food and bed. Now I just had to find that impossible job where I was within walking distance from 8am-2pm daily. Although my resume looks great on paper there were no retail jobs where I would pass a background check. That means my 25+ years of experience, hard work and education are now null and void. No job existed so I chose to live in the woods in a shelter I built so I could be available to work each day at a local labor pool. There were no guarantees for work just because I showed up each day at 5:30am. I have met many wonderful people while homeless including the Pastor that gave me my steel toed boots so that I may work. I finally found out about this place where I am now. This place I call home. The Mission of Citrus. I am currently at the veterans shelter but have also been to the regular sister shelter as well. While I am grateful for the help I received at other shelters I am now much more grateful to be here. The difference is simply night and day, black and white. Between my decades of volunteer work and now recent experience being homeless I thank God I found them. The Director Jim Sleighter, the staff, volunteers as well as tenants have helped me more than I can state in this letter. They are empathetic to the Veterans problems and situations as well as respectful and loving to each other. They provide not just a roof, food and clothing but give us every tool imaginable to help us and allow us the dignity to help ourselves. They are God fearing and loving people. We have the freedom and tools to get back on our feet and back into life again. Whether your needs are transportation, legal, physical or mental medical benefits, employment assistance and training, school or education improvements, housing assistance or simply inspirational advice they seem to have it all. I have been approved for temporary housing already. I now have a part time job and was hired for an awesome job the other day. I try to be positive but I have to assume I will fail the background check due to my Petty Theft conviction. I do have hope. My problems are fading away and are hopefully short lived. I am grateful for basics such as food and shelter. Its the other tools they offer that have made this homeless nightmare come to a positive end. Of course, I thank God for putting them in my path. They have also inspired me to continue to help others as I hope you will too. In summary please help these good people any way you can. Please support Jim Sleighter at The Mission In Citrus and others who are professionals with homeless assistance. Sincerely, David PS: There is a difference between lying and being a liar. Taking a breather and being lazy. I fear that beauty and perception lye with the beholder. I do not fear that God will judge me. It is you that I fear.
i came to stay at the mission after i was released from the hospital and i have been here ever since and the staff and volunteers are very helpful and make sure everything is taken care of and i am very grateful for the shelter and everyone who helps out
i came to the mission and i am very pleased with it and everything is fine i have enjoyed my stay so far and they treat me like family and the staff is very nice i am glad they let me come stay here and have a place to lay my head and feel safe
My name is Joan i am a veteran and i came to stay at the mission and i am enjoying my stay and the people here treat me with respect and dignity and i am very thankful for the mission to give me the opportunity to stay here and be a part of the family
My name is Paul Kissig I am a veteran and i have come to stay at the mission from ocala and i am just as happy as i was when i got here and it is an awesome place and i wouldnt change it for the world the staff and the volunteers are very helpful and it is a nice enviroment it is like one big family
This Mission in Citrus has been a Godsend for me. From the first calls trying to find out if they had space, to actually being here as a resident, the Director and her assistants have been outstanding! They expect all residents to be respectful of others and help them feel at home. It is like being part of a big family. I don't know where I would have been without their help.
i have been involved with homeless shelters for about ten years now. from citrus county fl to maryville tennessee.i have been blessed to be apart of a day to day operation of the mission for about six months now.it is a great learning expierience dealing with different aspects of life on a daily basis.getting up on a sunday morning knowing that you now have freedom of religon and you can go to the church of your choice and not somebody elses is truly a blessing from GOD.the greatest gift that i can receive,being involved with helping other people is watching them have the freedom to get back on their feet,move on with their lives,and tell us thank you when they leave.
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