“Nashville was the closest city I could afford to get to when I bought our bus tickets out of town,” said Christine. “I couldn’t imagine staying one more night in Southtown (public housing in Birmingham). We’d lived there for three years, but these shootings happened right outside our home. It was becoming increasingly more violent every day. I feared for our safety.”
Christine was born in Montgomery, but their family moved to Birmingham when she was a teenager. After graduating high school, Christine enrolled in Lawson State Community College then transferred to the University of Alabama. She had high hopes for her future. But when her daughter was born in 2014, she dropped out of school to get a job and raise her daughter.
Challenges and Courage
Since then, the last four years have been trying for Christine. Her father died in 2016, and her mom, who is currently battling cancer, still cares for several of Christine’s siblings.
“I wasn’t sure where to go or what to do,” said Christine. “I was between jobs, and I didn’t want to add to my mom’s burdens. 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.”
“I tried to find a place to stay in Nashville before leaving Birmingham,” said Christine. “All the places I contacted told me I had to secure a bed in person and I couldn’t do it over the phone. I took a massive leap of faith in getting on that bus to Nashville, not knowing where we might sleep that night. But I was trusting God to provide.”
Christine had just enough money to pay for a motel their first night in Nashville. The next day, she began the process of trying to find temporary shelter. After hitting several roadblocks, someone finally pointed her towards 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’ve 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.”
Through your support, Christine had a safe place to turn to in her time of need. When all other doors were closed, your gifts made sure the doors to the Mission were open wide to her, her daughter, and to anyone else in need in the community. At the Mission, she found a supportive community and a place where she could connect with God.
This Christmas, Christine won’t have to worry about gunshots going off outside her door. She won’t have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from. And she won’t have to worry about having presents under the tree for her daughter. Because of you, she doesn’t have to worry about those things.
But this holiday season, 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.