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 have been blessed thru the Mission in citrus by giving me clothes for my grand children and children and great grand children also giving me a roof over my head and a place to sleep and also they are helping me and my grand daughter get back on our feet and if it wasn't for the mission we would not have had a place to stay and my grand daughter is a military veteran also the staff and everyone here is very helpful and kind they treat us like family
I came to the mission with my husband who is a disabled marine veteran they welcomed us with open arms and treat us like family we are in the process of looking for us a place they have helped us get back on our feet and get the help we needed to get back on the road to stable housing if it wasn't for the mission we don't know where we would be
I came to the Mission after living out of my car and the sheriffs office sent me to the shelter i was welcomed with open arms and made to feel like family i have had the pleasure of getting stuff done to get back on my feet the staff and other residents are very helpful and nice the Mission is like a family we all work together if it wasn't for the mission i don't know where i would be
I have been at The Mission since last Thursday. The Director Cat made me feel comfortable and introduced me to the rest of the girls living here. It's nice to know that there are places here in Citrus County to help and shelter those in need. It's great to see all the local organizations that drop off donations and food to The Mission. LB
My name is John Wells i came to the Mission after being evicted from my apt The Mission treats you like family and welcomed me to stay at the shelter with open arms and is helping me get back on my feet and get things moving in the right direction if it wasn't for the mission i would be in the woods the staff and everyone here is very helpful
When I came to the mission with my child i was welcomed and treated just as family. I wasn't sure what to expect but they were friendly and kind made us feel right at home. I was going through a rough time and had no idea where we would even be the next day then i found the mission. They have since helped me in becoming more self sufficient . Within just a few weeks i have gained employment and am currently working on transportation and will soon be looking for a home all thanks to my family at the mission.
My name is Shon Brown coming to the mission has been a great help they helped me get on my feet and also get a bus pass and get my appt set up so i can do what i need to do the staff at The Mission is very helpful and im also a marine corp veteran
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 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
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