Recently, one of our moms, Adrian, shared her experience with us. Adrian’s best friend Mary fills us in on how they came to be at Home of Hope. This is her story, in her own words.
“I’m from Chicago and it was getting too bad with all the violence. I wanted to break through the generational curses and keep that cycle from continuing.
“I moved here [to Georgia] to start new with my son, who’s now in 5th grade, and because I had a cousin that lived here. She brought me to Victory World Church. [It was there I realized] I was ready to give it over to God and stop trying to do stuff on my own.
“[Not long after that] I met Adrian when we were both working at McDonald’s. She saw me reading my Bible and wanted to know more. Through that we became close friends and, in 2015, ended up renting an apartment together.
“We’re both single parents trying to do the right thing. Trying to have a relationship with God and bring that relationship to our kids. It’s good, and we help each other out. Living with Adrian feels like family.
“Unfortunately, we had a bad situation with an apartment. We had bed bugs and we wanted to move. We ended up moving into a different apartment. But I felt God telling me I needed to be honest about the income we make. So, I went down there and told them the truth at the leasing office. They said we had to leave [because we didn’t make enough], but we could leave on good terms. That’s how we came to Home of Hope.”
“I love it here at Home of Hope because we’re all in the same situation. We help each other and learn from each other. On top of that, the staff helps us with our budget and we learn to use money right, so that we when get to our own apartments or places, we’ll be able to manage.
“It doesn’t seem like a shelter. We’re all family. It’s a home. We’re all sisters because we help each other out and work together. I actually love it. Some shelters are not like that. A whole bunch of people in one room. It’s nice how there are different rooms for each family. And how you don’t have to worry about what you’ll eat. They supply everything for you.
“My son loves it, too. We have a game room and a family room so we can watch TV together and do a movie night. We all play UNO together or board games and it’s really nice.
“The volunteers don’t have to come out and watch our kids. Or the workers, they don’t have to do that. 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. All the employees and volunteers I’ve met are great. It’s a wonderful, wonderful experience.”
“I’d like to get my certificate in early childhood education to be a paraprofessional. Right now, I’m studying at my own pace to get my certificate. I’d like to work with Pre-K special needs kids.
“I’ve actually been serving at my church in a classroom with special needs kids since 2015. I feel God is calling me to that.
“[Over the years] I’ve learned just to trust in God’s timing and everything will be OK. Don’t worry about what anybody says. Do what you have to do for your family. Try to help other people out. Be the light. Don’t shut the door and just stay in your room. Be the light while you’re there. You never know how you can uplift someone.
“I want to say ‘Thank you’ to people who donate. I know it’s not easy for the people who own [Home of Hope] to keep it up. But thank you for everything you do. When I’m back on my feet, I want to come back and volunteer.”
— Mary, Home of Hope mom