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.
Hello, my name is Bill. The stories are many and there are lives that have been turned upside-down for all of us who are now homeless. I am not going to give you a sob story of my own predicament because I want to give everyone hope for the future. That hope came to me by finding Mission in Citrus and Jim Sleighter who is the founder. Jim has a heart as big as the moon for the homeless. The veterans are especially close to his heart. The veterans shelter in Inverness has helped countless veterans get back on there feet. Many are now leading a happy and have a great new lease on life. If you know anyone in Citrus County that is homeless, please tell them about Mission in Citrus. We will help them if we can.
my name is Katherine I have come so far since coming to the mission I am now helping and also have a family that loves me for who I am
I have been at the mission in Citrus Veterans shelter for 4 years now. Over the past 2 years I had to fight cancer and beat it. Two and a half years ago I started to have severe tremors and now because I had a great VA doctor I am tremor free. I now have rods in my spine and am diabetic. I also have to wear a shoe that has a 2 inch lift on it. How many shelters do you know that would go through all of these problems that one man would have. At one time I was going to leave the mission but when I told my doctor my plans she told me that with my health the way it is I need to stay right where I'm at. Dr. Kirchech told me that I couldn't be in A better place. Now I am able to help out the Mission that I love so much and praise god for every day I wake.
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
I'm proud to donate my time and resources to the Mission in Citrus. They are saving lives in our community and providing people with a hand up not a hand out. The Director and The Board work tirelessly to help people get their lives back in order with dignity and compassion,
They not only provide a secure environment for the residents, they offer assistance in areas like job training and money matters, they help them in obtaining the resources they need to get back on their feet, help obtaining health and dental care etc.
The Mission strives to keep families together, help Veterans in need, and in general give people HOPE.
I'm grateful they exist in times like these and I'm grateful to know such a wonderful organization.
I have been treated fair ever since I came to the Mission. I was told about the Mission by a friend at a campground that I was staying at. I would recommend the Mission to anyone. The staff here does a really good job.
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
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.
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.
I love the Mission in Citrus! The people are very nice. I have plenty of food and I'm welcomed here with opened arms.
It was fine I thought it to be a lot worse but it ain't to bad accept getting up early
We fell on hard times and a friend took us by there and they were so kind and respectful and have always been helpful with any problem that has come up along the way. They have most of the time had an answer to whatever the situation was at the time without feeling left out in the cold. The group at the mission is a very caring group that can do a lot of good for what little we have to work with at times.
Review from Guidestar
The Mission in Citrus is an inter-faith homeless shelters with four locations serving veterans, women and children and families. The Mission in Citrus serves over 90 % of the large number of the homeless in Citrus County, Florida. It constantly has to fight the county government administration who feels that homelessness does not exist in Citrus County. The Mission also serves countless homeless in the woods throughout Citrus County. If given the opportunity the Mission in Citrus could eliminate homelessness in Citrus County.
The annual budget to serve over 1,200 souls in 2013 is less than other homeless organizations marketing budgets with only 35 people being served.
The Mission in Citrus serves over 90% of the homeless in Citrus County, Florida. No one gets a salary for working there but give back to the mission for what the mission has done for them, turn their lives around. 100 % of funds donated go directly to programs that help build up the self-worth and self-esteem, get jobs and help the homeless find future homes so they can become independent and self supporting.