“This is my first time staying in a shelter,” said Christine. “But I couldn’t imagine staying one more night in Southtown (public housing in Birmingham). Not after reading the newspaper headline that said, ‘Woman dead from gunshot wound to the head in Birmingham; 5th homicide in 3 days.’”
NOWHERE TO TURN
“We’d lived there for three years, but these shootings happened right outside our home,” recalled Christine. “It was becoming increasingly more violent every day. I feared for our safety.” Christine had no idea where to go or what to do. Her father had passed away, and her mother was battling cancer while still caring for Christine’s siblings. “I was between jobs, and I didn’t want to add to my mom’s burdens,” shared Christine. “Plus, she lived in a rural area, too far from a bus stop and without a car; I had no way to find work. Out of desperation, I decided it was time to go somewhere new and start over.”
IN SEARCH OF SHELTER
Her search landed her in Nashville, where she spent what little money she had on a motel that first night for her and her daughter. “I took a massive leap of faith in getting on that bus to Nashville, not knowing what was next. But I was trusting God to provide.”
The next day, Christine started looking for temporary shelter. After hitting several roadblocks, someone pointed her to Nashville Rescue Mission. “This is my first time staying in a shelter,” said Christine. “It’s required some adjustment, but it is unquestionably better than living in a neighborhood that is dangerous and scary. I know we are safe. I found a wonderful daycare for my daughter. I’ve also met with social services to help get some things in place that will help us get back on our feet. I’ve been putting in job applications, and I’m hopeful about our future.”
Your gifts made sure the doors to the Mission were open wide to Christine. Because of you and your support, Christine and hundreds of other women like her and their children have a safe place to stay in their time of desperation. You’re the reason they receive food, clothing, and access to case management and other services that will help them get back on their feet. And because of you, Christine found a supportive community and a place where she could connect with God while rebuilding her life for her and her daughter.
HOPE AT CHRISTMAS
This Christmas, there will be many more women, mothers with children, and men trapped in violent neighborhoods, battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol, each searching for a safe place to stay, a nutritious meal to fill their empty stomachs, a hot shower, and some clean clothes. This is why your support is so crucial.
With your help, the Mission will welcome each person in need with extravagant faith and radical hospitality. They will experience a loving and supportive community ready, willing, and able to help them out of their situation and into a brand-new way of living filled with hope—all because of you.