WHEN I BECAME HOMELESS I HAD NO WHERE TO TURN FOR HELP I WAS BEING RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL TO THE STREET. I CALLED A FEW PLACES FOR HELP BUT BECAUSE I HAD NO ADDICTION ISSUES I WAS TOLD THEY COULD NOT HELP ME. A NURSE GAVE ME THE NUMBER FOR THE MISSION IN CITRUS. EXPECTING THE SAME RESPONCE I CALLED AND TALKED TO A MAN NAMED BERT WITHOUT HESITATION HE TOLD ME I WAS WELCOME TO COME TO THE SHELTER. WHEN I ARRIVED I WAS GREETED WARMLY AND WITH COMPASSION. HAVING NEVER EXPERIENCED HOMELESSNESS BEFORE I WAS RELIEVED THAT THE STAFF WAS PATIENT AND CONSIDERATE AND GUIDED ME ON THIS NEW AND UNEXPECTED JOURNEY WITH KNOWLEDGE AND PERSISTANCE. THE STAFF TREAT YOU WITH RESPECT WHILE ENFORCING THE RULES NECESSARY TO RUN AN OPERATION THAT HOUSES UP TO 60-70 MEN WOMEN AND CHILDREN. IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW FINDS THEMSELVES IN THE UNFORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCE OF HOMELESSNESS THE MISSION IN CITRUS WILL WELCOME YOU WITH OPEN ARMS AND AN OPEN HEART
Jim Sleighter the Director is very kind.
He looks out for our dreams.
He is a wonderful man.
Noone else has his outlook. He takes a personal interest in every resident that comes here.
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
I My essay on what I think is awesome about The Mission in Citrus Inc.
I would like to start out by saying that this place is AWESOME!! and I am truly blessed to be here. I believe God puts people in certain places for a reason and I believe He led me here.
I may have a different perspective on things here because I see much more than some of the other residents. Not all of them, just some.
I quote Jim: "If I don't help them, no one else will." I have witnessed this account on numerous occasions. I have quickly learned how true this statement is. Jim feels the pain of every resident who comes through that gate. So much so, that it makes him ill. You couldn't get the love, compassion, and understanding from any other Director or their staff at any other place, but here.
I've also witnessed the miracles that have happened in this Mission because of that statement. I've witnessed people survive and overcome suicide. I've witnessed hardened hearts learn to love again. I have seen mothers get reunited with their children and some who regained custody of their children.
I have seen people come through those gates with addiction to alcohol and drugs and never thought to change. However with the grace of God they have wanted to change and get help. These people are not FORCED but strongly encouraged to do so. They are made aware that people DO care, something that they somehow lost along the way.
I've witnessed people overcome homelessness, get a job, their own place, get reunited with their families, and become productive people in society all by the hand up they were willing to take and get back out there and be happy again. We still see their struggles, however they all know that they can come back here, and MOST do, sometimes to get food, clothing, gas money, diapers, or an encouraging word from the Director Jim, and the other residents. Some will come back to help, or to just say thank-you and they are doing well. That's AMAZING!!!
I also think The Mission in Citrus Inc. is so great because these Shelters are run by THE HOMELESS. FOR FREE. BECAUSE WE WANT TO. Not because we are paid to. This is something that I never thought, dreamed, or imagined I would do. Seeing what is accomplished at the end of the day is very satisfying. The work is endless though, but by God's Will, what gets done seems to be just enough to get by. We barely make the bills every month and some months it seems that we can't...very scary thought...this is the last place for us and it might end next month...but by God's will, AMAZINGLY, somehow we squeak by. God truly runs this Mission.
What keeps our Director going, (and the rest of us) is the children. I have actually heard the little ones say: "I don't want to leave". These children said they like it here, AT A HOMELESS SHELTER, better than at their homes with their other parent, grandparent, or other caretaker. We keep going because we see the families that reunite because of this wonderful place. The people we can help and do help brings us so much joy. We continue on for the people that get saved here. Saved from addiction, suicide, themselves. Saved by Jesus and The Mission in Citrus Inc.
I am an RN and a veteran of the USMC and have worked in Kingston, Jamaica with abandoned and severely handicaped children. In addition, I volunteered in Long Beach Mississippi and New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. I know first hand how individual lives can be changed when they know someone cares. When a person has lost everything it would be so easy for that person to just give up or turn to a life of crime. The everyday things we take for granted mean everything to them not only to survive but to give them hope and a sense of well being and feeling of usefullness. The Mission in Citrus does this and so much more; they offer safety, food, shelter, friendship, faith, assist with employment and educational opportunities and so much more. The world needs more people like James Sleighter whom truly care about others. May God Bless and help this wonderful organization to prosper and help all who need their services.
Review from Guidestar
Existence for the Mission in Citrus is solely based on helping those in need. Seeing all genders, ages and life situations arriving for assistance is a life-altering picture. Being able to house and feed in order to take care of the homeless situation is monumental. However, the paramount drive for the Mission in Citrus is to rebuild the lives of those who have not achieved success on their own. That’s what it is all about. Yes, getting into a place of warmth in the cold winter weather, filling up the stomach that is hurting, providing clothing and hygiene facilities are definite life needs. But to look further at each individual person’s life and the direction that is needed stands tallest above everything else at the Mission in Citrus.
When a person and/or family arrives for help, all facets of their life are taken into consideration. If there are legal issues, further action is taken. This is the same case for addiction needs. Each and every person is dealt with in reference to the situation that is deemed primary in their lives. Education is afforded to all that need to possibly get a GED or into a vocational training program. When a minor is involved, they are immediately enrolled in the public school system. The positive support that is demonstrated by the Mission in Citrus director speaks for itself when residents share their stories of survival and success because of the power of the direction they have received at the mission.
Seeing the life-changing situations that have occurred at the Mission in Citrus is sometimes hard to perceive. It is so heart wrenching that I can often not envision what life has truly been like for so many unfortunate people. But the changed lives is what counts and the Mission in Citrus is responsible for the changing of many many lives in Citrus County.