Best friends find a fresh start at Home of Hope

Sometimes it really is all about who you know.

And having a community of cheerleaders rooting for your success? It’s a game changer.

Just ask best friends Mary and Adrian.

“We’re both single parents trying to do the right thing, trying to have a good relationship with God and bring that relationship to our kids,” said Mary. “We help each other out. We’re family.”

These friends met working the same shift at McDonald’s.

“Me and my best friend Mary … we’ve been doing life together for about six years now,” explained Adrian. “Mary would read her Bible at work. I didn’t know Christ, but I knew she had something I wanted and we became close friends through that.”

Together with their children, these single moms found ways to help each other out — including renting an apartment together.

But in the fall of  2020, Mary and Adrian were in a tough situation.

“The apartment we were living in ended up with bed bugs,” explained Adrian. “So, we had to get rid of the furniture and all the stuff and do extermination. We got rid of that and slept on air mattresses.”

They moved to a new apartment, but affording the rent wasn’t easy.

That’s when they found Home of Hope.

“God made a way and we moved right in,” said Adrian.

At Home of Hope, Mary, Adrian and their children discovered more than just a temporary shelter. They found a community of mentors and friends, ready to help.

“With a shelter, you don’t really know what to expect,” added Adrian. “I would definitely say it’s changed my perspective on what a shelter can look like. I love this place. I mean it when I say that.”

Staff and volunteer support gave these moms time to get back on their feet.

“The volunteers, they don’t have to come out and watch our kids. Or the workers. They don’t have to do that,” explained Mary. “They don’t have to ask if we’re OK or if we need anything. They could just drop the food off and go. But they talk to us and have conversations with us. All the employees and volunteers I’ve met are great. It’s a wonderful, wonderful experience.”

Training and structure supplied skills they needed for lasting change.

“I’ve learned how to budget my money the right way through finance classes. I write down what has to be paid every week. [Home of Hope requires] you to save 50 percent of your paycheck every week into a savings account,” she said. “Now, I have money in my savings account. What I learned here I’m going to take with me for the rest of my life.”

During her time at Home of Hope, Adrian found a job, earned a raise at work, paid off debt and built a nest egg. Mary grew her savings, too, paid off her debt and is pursuing a paraprofessional certificate.

“I’m just so happy that I’m able to budget my money,” Mary said. “I have good coaches behind me. And I still have my best friend, my accountability partner to tell me: ‘Mary, keep pushing.’”

These moms are moving forward with a new community of friends, new life skills — and hearts full of hope for the future.

“I never imagined a place like Home of Hope,” added Adrian. “God sent us here. And I’m so thankful.”