When Kim’s* auntie dropped her off at Nashville Rescue Mission, she had no idea what to expect. All she knew was that she was having horrible luck and needed help.
“My sister started calling different shelters, including Safe Haven, but they were all full,” shared Kim. “She eventually called Nashville Rescue Mission, and they told me they had room for us.”
Kim says staying in a shelter has been quite an adjustment. “Once I learned the rules, things got easier. But it took a little time for us to get the routine down.”
Having a school-aged daughter with her only made the adjustment a bit more challenging. Kim has a lot to juggle, from learning new schools, bus schedules, new routines, and more.
“I’m so glad the school bus picks up here,” shared Kim. “I appreciate the safety measures the Mission takes to make sure my daughter is outside at the right time and on the bus. But there is a lot that must happen before we start the day, in terms of us each getting ready, eating breakfast, and getting out the door. But, once we developed a routine, it got much easier.”
Kim says her daughter Jessica is doing well in school, making good grades, even though they now live in a shelter. Sometimes Kim even has time to take her daughter to the playground after school. “Jessica loves school; she also loves to sing, dance, and play, just like most little girls.”
“Jessica loves school; she also loves to sing, dance, and play, just like most little girls.”
Far Away From Home
Before all of this, Kim and her children lived in Ohio, even though it wasn’t home. But Kim got homesick, and that’s when she decided to return to Murfreesboro.
“My oldest daughter loved it there in Ohio,” shared Kim. “So, she’s stayed there with my sister to finish school. I miss her, but we are making the best of it.”
Kim is so grateful for the many things the Mission has provided, including clothes and shoes, not just for her but especially for her daughter. She also appreciated her caseworker, who has been working with her to find an apartment in Murfreesboro. Ultimately, Kim looks forward to reuniting her family under one roof.
“I want a better life for me and my kids,” shared Kim. “I’m doing what I can, but I’m also asking for help. It seems like life keeps knocking me down. But I keep trying to get back on my feet again. The Mission is helping me do that.”
For many mothers experiencing homelessness, finding flexible jobs can be difficult. Kim’s situation is no exception. “I did have a job at a hotel for a while,” said Kim. I worked as a housekeeper. But it’s hard when you have kids and no childcare, which is what happened during COVID.”
“I’m doing the best I can,” shared Kim. “But I also struggle with depression and anxiety, and this situation has only made that worse. When that happens, I feel like the world is about to stop. Some days are hard. Right now, I’m doing everything I can for my kids and me to make sure we don’t end back up in this same situation again.”
Hopeful For The Future
Kim is hopeful for the future. She plans to start working again, save money to buy a car, and do whatever she can to make the dreams she has for her family to come true.
“There are so many things I want to do for my kids,” shared Kim. “I want us to travel, take a vacation, go camping. I especially want to take them to the beach so they can see the ocean. Neither of them has ever been.
Kim says she’s feeling much better. “Now that I’m here, it’s given me a lot of hope. The people who work at the Mission make sure I keep a smile on my face. They are keeping me motivated. As I see my daughter head off to school each day, that also motivates me because I want to do so much for her and my other daughter.”
Kim says this experience has provided some life lessons for her daughter. “Things are going to happen in life. But I’m going to get better, and they will get better too. I’m thankful to those who support Nashville Rescue Mission. It can be life-changing because there is help for anyone who comes here in need. This place gives people hope and a chance at a new start.”
*Name changed for privacy reasons.