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.
Mission gives me confidence caring love to stay positive and move forward. The support system is great having an address is a big help. Love the families that are here and the dog. Just all around so much support. having bus access right to the doorstep is very helpful
have a very good time sociable people . having a good time with people and kids makes me feel like im right back in the barracks /service again.
nice loving family oriented facility accommodate your needs to help find jobs and get on your feet. Would definitely recommend the mission to anybody that needs help for themselves or their family.
The Mission in Citrus has been a tremendous help to me while going through a very difficult time in my life with personal situations that resulted in being without a home. This help has been vital to me, serving as a bridge while i make the transition to a new life. Hopefully i will be able to support myself in the near future, but since i have became homeless, the Mission has been a tremendous support to me. Just show you are serious about helping yourself, and you will get the help and support you need.
The Mission in Citrus has been a God-send and a life saver. If it wasn't for The Mission and Jim Sleighter I don't know what I would've done. I do know that I would have been sleeping in the woods somewhere and question if I would even be alive. Jim and the Mission invited me in with open arms and no questions asked, gave me shelter, food, and helped me get set up in school. Since being here my life is turning around and beginning to return to some semblance of normalcy. I am eternally grateful for all that has been done for me and look forward to a close bond with the Mission, Jim, and the residents here.
Im thankful for the mission i appreciate helping out at the mission and im thankful to boost up in life love john
I'm a veteran who because of health issues an not being able to work, ended up lose house . Family Endeavors got in touch with this shelter to lend a hand. The Veterans Shelter Has provided a clean safe place . the staff are very involve with helping those of us here, to find work,schooling,getting to VA clinics. They'er involved in other missions in citrus, an helping other that have become homeless. We get involved to.It's wonderful to be around so many, putting there time to help us all.
i never thought id be homeless..being in several shelters, i found this one to be more like a home setting,i was welcomed with open arms ..a memory i will always cherish..it is like one big giant family..thank you for being family...love you all and God bless
When i came citrus county mission, i was welcome d with open arms. They 're helping me get adjusted back into society. This is an amazing organization!