Many of our unhoused neighbors had a life-changing year. George and his family are living proof! When they moved from our emergency shelter into our family housing program, George said he had no idea what was still in store for his family. Their accomplishments are a testament to how giving partners like you empower transformation.
“I was in the shelter life growing up. I had to be grown before I was grown. Never got an education because I had to start making money for the family. I started working and most of my paycheck went to my family and paying our rent. I got tired of having all of that responsibility. Never having a kid life. I ended up moving out and when I went out on my own I got into the streets and got with the wrong crowds.
I met my wife. I found love and life started happening for us. I got cleaned up because we had a son on the way. We had two more kids after that, so I felt like we needed more money and more money. That led me back to the streets to make money and drugs came with that. I tried to hide that, of course, but you know how that goes. I regret bringing those things around my family.
Around that time, I remember I started to feel tremors in my chest. One night, it was like an explosion inside my chest. Next thing I know, I’m on a stretcher and I’m inside an ambulance and they’re telling me I’m in the middle of a heart attack.
I went into immediate prayer. And look, I’m still here. I feel like God’s gave us a second chance at the Mission and we never looked back. After my heart attack, my job had to let me go. I couldn’t work anymore. We ended up in a spiral of not being able to pay the rent. The apartments had to let us go. Every shelter was full, even the Mission was full. By the grace of God, they squeezed us in. We were a family of five, our baby was little. We just got to work as hard as we could to get somewhere and back on our feet. We started hearing about the Mission’s family housing program. That’s the blessing right there.
When we got accepted into the Mission’s housing program, I dropped to my knees and bawled. I knew we had made it over a huge hurdle. But I had no idea what was still in store for us here. Since we’ve had this stability, I’ve been able to get my high school diploma through Tacoma Community College. And I graduated with all A’s. Now, I’m working on getting my associate’s degree in human services. I want to be able to help families. I want to be able to help change the lives of kids and help families that are in need because I know what it’s like and the help is needed.
My son graduated highschool. That’s a huge thing. We actually graduated together, the same week. It’s so historical. And I think it really helped him because he wanted to give up at times because so much was going on with him. I said, son, we are here with you and we understand the feeling. But, don’t give up, there is such reward ahead of you. It’s priceless. My daughter is currently a senior. She will be graduating next year and my youngest daughter, she’s doing so good. She’s so smart and so unique. And my wife is working and is almost done getting her degree to be an accountant. We have all been growing together.
Eventually, we want to own a home. We know this program is not a forever thing. It’s a stepping stone to get to where we want to be.
When you give your time, money, and whatever else, it’s not in vain. You’re giving opportunities to families that are really trying to make a change for themselves. You’re giving us hope to knowing that are big hearts out there. The Mission gave us an opportunity to make a change. I’m living proof. And it’s here for anyone. It changed me, changed my family, helped my kids. We got to see our kids feel hopeful again and do things they would’ve never thought they could.”