Because you care, William has hope and a home
“I’ve heard it said, most people are just one paycheck away from being homeless. Well, I’m living proof this is true and it can happen to anyone.”
“I grew up in Nashville,” shares William. “I’ve always known about the Nashville Rescue Mission, I just never thought I would need to stay there.”
Life and Loss
William hasn’t lived an easy life. You could certainly describe it as an uphill battle. His father left him, his three brothers and one sister when William was just 4-years-old. His mom did everything she could to provide for her five children. Despite her best efforts, they lived in housing projects and relied on welfare to get by.
“My mother was my best friend,” shares William. “When she died 14 years ago, my world fell apart. I was devastated. I had lived with her my entire life and suddenly I was homeless. I had nowhere to go and no one to turn to…so I took to the streets. I knew about the Nashville Rescue Mission, but my pride wouldn’t let me go there. I chose to sleep outside. It was rough. I wouldn’t wish that life on anyone.”
Back on His Feet
Despite the absence of his father, William’s mom made sure he knew God as his father. She taught him manners and responsibility. So after a time of grieving, William pulled things together, went back to work and rejoined the world.
“I had 20 years of experience in landscaping,” shares William. “I started working in lawn care and saved enough money to get my own place. For the last five years, I lived in the same rooming house faithfully paying my rent.”
Life was getting better or so William thought. He found a new job with better hours and better pay. But after only seven months, he was faced with an ethical dilemma and decided to quit his job.
Hard Times Get Better
“I didn’t think I would have a difficult time finding another job,” says William. “I’m a hard worker. I wanted to work but I couldn’t find a job. I didn’t qualify for unemployment, so I had no source of income. And after five years of consistently paying rent, I missed a payment and my landlord evicted me. My world just fell apart.”
Again, with nowhere to go and no one to turn to, William swallowed his pride and this time decided to go to the Mission. He did not want to live on the streets again.
“Over the years I’ve learned to put my faith, hope and trust in the Lord,” says William. “I knew the Mission was a Christian-based ministry, so that gave me peace of mind in terms of going there. I gave away all my stuff. I didn’t have much to begin with. I came with an open mind and discovered many blessings in the process. There are a lot of misconceptions concerning homelessness and staying at the Mission. I found most of what I’d heard to be untrue. I felt safe and secure. I received not just physical food, but spiritual nourishment as well. No one looked down on me. I was treated with dignity and respect.”
During the first 30 days of staying at the Mission, William made a commitment to focus on God. He spent time cleaning out his emotional closet. He attended chapel everyday, spent time studying the Bible and praying. This gave him a good foundation as he began pursuing new job opportunities. Even with his landscaping experience, no one was hiring in that field. But William pressed on and was willing to consider other options. He was quickly able to secure a job with a temporary service. During this time, William saved up enough money to get an apartment and eventually move out of the Mission.
“Coming to the Mission was one of the best decisions I have ever made,” shares William. “I came seeking shelter, stability and structure. Thankfully, I do not struggle with drugs or alcohol, but during my stay I did get a chance to clear my head. I spent time with God. I made some great friends. I received valuable encouragement and counseling.”
Joy in the Journey
Shortly after moving into his apartment, William was offered a full-time job. He just recently completed his orientation and is optimistic with regards to his future.
“I have no idea what tomorrow holds for me,” says William. “I just know I’m trusting Jesus. He’s taken away my worries. I no longer struggle or stress over things. He’s given me peace. He’s provided for me. I look back on my time at the Nashville Rescue Mission as a testing of my faith. I hope I’ve proven myself faithful.”