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.
My name is Micheal Scully since coming to the mission they have helped me in numerous ways like giving me a bed to sleep in and helping me get a bus pass and applying for services i needed and getting a fl id and help with getting medical and prescription care and the also gave me assistance in searching for a job and getting all the hygiene products and food i needed
My name is Ramon Saldivar i came to the mission after being in the hospital and getting robbed.They helped me get the rest i needed and also helped me get back on my feet and helped me get home to my wife and kids. I very much appreiciate the mission in citrus for all thier hard work and everything they do
I came to the mission where they are very helpful and it is like a family everyone gets along for the most part and we have a good atmosphere to be in and i couldn't ask for a more helpful place to be at i am so thankful for the mission
My name is Sharon Anderson. I am 60 years old and have been a guest at the Mission in Citrus for about six months. First of all.I want to express my gratitude for the mission, which took me in when i had absolutely nowhere else to go.I feel very fortunate to be here and have nothing but praise and admiration for the mission director and other staff, and all who make this place a temporary home. I think Katherine "Kat" Romanowski does an excellent job tending to the many and varied needs of those residing here.Her many responsibilities -- day and night ,on site and off-- often keep her from getting adequate rest yet she manages to stay on top of it all . And i know she doesn't do it for the money,because there just aren't enough funds available to pay her or any one else a livable wage. Even so, I have seen Kat rise to every occasion. For example ,when the septic tank was clogged this past summer , she was right there, getting her hands dirty ,cleaning up inside and clearing the way outside for the professionals which she had immediately called in. When an emergency arises ,if Kat's not on site, she drops everything to get there and deal with it. I know i feel safe with Kat in charge and sense the other residents do as well. I don't mean to imply that Kat is perfect ,because who on Earth is? However ,she does have the rare to be both congenial and compassionate friend as well as a stern house mother to one and all.Perhaps it's because she has spent time in these "homeless" shoes. I believe these attributes serve the people here well and have prompted many of them to stay in touch with her,and the mission in general long after they have moved on.
the mission has helped me out a lot and get my life together and helping me be more proactive with my self and get back on my feet and im very grateful
i thank God for the mission they have helped me get back on my medicine and have a safe environment to stay in
I thank God and the Mission for giving me the opportunity to have a place to live.I was staying with different people.Going from one place to the next not knowing where i would stay or sleep next.Very grateful that the mission open the doors for me where i find myself safe and a place i can call home.Because that is exactly what it is my home.The girls and the management people are very nice .We get to cook for all of us and we watch tv and we get to do things together as a family .Everyday is a gift because i have a roof over my head ,food & friends . I am very lucky to be here where it is clean and comfortable and a safe place to be
since coming to the mission i have a job and i am trying to get my life in order
i came to the mission with my three kids and they have helped me to get the resources i need to get back on my feet