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.
The mission is a great place for people who might be going through hard times in life and who need another start and to get back on your feet. The staff here are all very helpful and if you need anything they are here for you. Without the Mission i honestly don't know where or what i would be doing at this time. I appreciate it so much!
19 years of age dad went to jail no were to go came here got a temp job making five hundred a week went to the path work camp no free thought at all this place is a blessing
When i had no where to go with no income or a job The mission was there to help me so i am able to look for a job and provided a place where i can rest at night with no extra worries so i am able to start getting my life in order. The shelter tries to meet all my needs as much as possible.
my name is Kelly and iv'e been in the mission in citrus for a while with my husband, we have been homeless since we got married but luckily Steven knew Jim and he gave him a call and Jim gave us a place to stay, he has been helping us with i.d. renewals and healthcare i am very thankful along with my husband that Jim gave us a place to stay.
iv been here once before i came back even though i had the opposition to move in to my friends garage but this place can help more than any friend can ever i have gotten food stamps learned to help clean and to be responsible i'm a 17 year old emancipated minor and the life skills iv learned here will follow me for the rest of my life the staff and everyone here r super nice and understanding they respect and truly care for each and every circumstance that comes in very family friendly and clean i would recommend this place to anyone needing a home or need help getting back on their feet.
Mission in Citrus was a really nice place to stay. Its helped a lot and everyone here is very welcoming and helpful. I enjoyed being here, and am actually sad to leave.
Mission in Citrus was the best thing that could have happened in my life this year, Jim the director was the kindest man iv'e met in a long time and has such a big heart. In my stay in the Mission i was greeted with open arms and every one was family the first day me and my wife came. They helped us a lot with jobs and things around the area. I'm so grateful for the Mission and couldn't ask for a better place to be when your at your all time low. Thank you!
the mission has helped me relize that all people are equaul homeless people can make a difference and lean from our mistakes
My name is Tim Connors and I've been here at the Mission since November of 2009. I'm a recovering alcoholic I used to drink heavily but now I go to AA and I am going to truck driving school so that I can get my family back together. Jim has been such a big help with me and Chanell and if it was not for jim and the Mission we would not be where we are now!
Review from Guidestar
i was hospitalized for health reason and the previous place i was staying could no longer help me with a place to stay. so the nurse at the hospital called the Mission for me to have a place to go and Jim accepted me in.since i have been the people at the mission has helped a lot with all they can and has welcomed me with open arms.I thank the mission for all their help.
The mission took me in when i had no where to go. its my home for now. the mission helps me out with all they can and in return help them with driving or anything else i can help with!
The mission is a family to me. I love everybody here very much. They are helping me as to getting my life back in order so me and my children can be on our own again.But they will always have a spot in my heart and my life even once I'm gone.
My name is Joshua Cuhapman. Previous to staying at the Mission i was at a halfway home. The mission seems to have the goal of helping everyone who comes to the gate. I feel at home here and pray daily for everyone. It gives someone a stable enviroment with structure to help someone get their life in order. god bless.
i became homeless and needed a place to stay the shelter to me and my girlfriend a place to stay.The mission is a great place.
Since becoming disabled, applying to social security and the long process, I ran out of savings and have become unable to support myself. The mission has allowed me to stay here, helped me with my application process, taken me to get my scripts and have helped me in every way they can. I am very grateful to them.
I found the mission when i had found myself pregnant and homeless. They were the only shelter that would take me in. The staff and girls here have been great to me..I have already found work and been getting my life back together...this is all thanks to the mission.
I was asked to leave CASA with no where else to go The Mission in Citrus took me in. They greeted me with open arms with food water and everything thing else i needed. The females here are all good to me and they shelter is and enjoyable place to stay. they help me with all that they are able to and if it wasn't for the Mission i would be on the streets. Thank you for all you do.
i was in needed a place to live when i had no where else i showed up on there door step was welcomed with open arms offered me a place and food right away they are like having a family i am thankful for this place or i would be on the streets this is a great place
Review from Guidestar