Ministry Update 5-12-22 - Breaking the Cycle
So many times when we hear of someone in an abusive relationship, especially if they have children in their care, our question is “Why don’t they just leave?” It seems so simple, yet it really isn’t.
In mid-March we had a call from our sheriff’s department about a single mother of five who was living in their car. The mother would work nights and drive her children to a school 45 minutes away. You may ask, well why didn’t she just put them in a local school? You have to have a permanent address to register for school and a car isn’t a permanent address. We were able to send our Outreach Specialist, Tim Klein, to meet with her and find out more information about her situation and to see how we could best help her. Since it was later in the day, Tim was able to get them a room at a local hotel so that our Case Manager, Deb, could meet with the mother the next day.
Deb was able to meet with the mother and her children at the park and get a full history and assessment. This mom was a great mother who really seemed to have her “stuff” together. The children were well taken care of. Deb’s assessment concluded that the mother endured significant domestic violence during her childhood and adolescent years. She stated she left home at 16 due to the domestic violence. When Deb asked how we could best help her, the mother responded, “I just need help to get on my feet so that I can break this cycle of abuse. I don’t want my kids to grow up in that.” Our ministry was able to help her with immediate needs like food, clothing, laundry, hygiene items and gas.
Throughout the next couple of weeks, Deb was able to assist the mother in applying for housing. She was able to move into an apartment in mid-April. And with a permanent address, she was able to have the children transferred to a local school. The mother and children are doing well in their new home.
With your support, we are helping many people, like the mom in this story, break the cycle of abuse and homelessness. Thank you for investing in Unsheltered.
P.S. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Of all the clients we have served since 2014, 40% suffer from a mental illness and 26% suffer from a severe mental illness. The founder of Unsheltered, Travis Sharpe, has done multiple studies on mental health & illness. Read his blog on our website about several books he has read about the stigma and treatment of mental illness.