As part of our ongoing conversation on homelessness, we asked members of the Family Promise Network to share their personal thoughts and reflections on Family Promise and the issue of family homelessness. These directors are true thought leaders, using their skills and expertise to develop and implement creative solutions that are changing the lives of parents and children in their communities. This post is from Jayne Moraski, Executive Director of Family Promise of Gainesville.
In the video above, Jayne shares a letter from a former guest family that illustrates why she works with Family Promise.
Read the whole letter:
In April of 2018, we lost our home. We left Gainesville and went to Ocala, where we thought we had friends that would help us. Both of our vehicles broke down soon after. Life as we knew it had been completely shattered.
In Ocala, we didn’t have as much support as I’d hoped for. Actually, it was just the opposite. People we considered family, friends that we have shared since childhood, treated us worse than enemies would. We didn’t have much to offer at this point in our life and they made us feel very worthless and unwanted. We had to stay at three or four different houses during our stay down there. They made it very known that we were nothing but a burden to them and that they wanted us gone as soon as possible. We couldn’t find anywhere to stay long enough to put our child in school. We had no transportation so we could get on our feet and get jobs. This was definitely the darkest time of our lives.
In October of 2018, we had finally come to our wit’s end. We were living at a hotel that my mother’s friend was paying for, but he could no longer afford it. We had tapped out every resource known to man and we were hours away from having to take our five-year-old child and live in a tent. This is when we decided to give Gainesville another try. We had tried to get help before we lost everything back in April and every resource was a dead end. We didn’t have much faith in this plan, but we also had nothing else to lose, except for our child, and this COULD NOT happen… so we were open to any and every idea at this point.
It was on this day that we were given a tiny little sticky note with the name of FAMILY PROMISE by a nice gentleman at St. Francis House. I went to the parking lot and dialed the number that was on the paper and a lady named Shari answered my call.
We can’t describe in words how thankful we truly are for this organization. We were able to move in and get started immediately at repairing our lives. We were able to get our child into school within 2 days after we arrived. My fiancé was able to start his job within 2 weeks of being there. Mrs. Jayne and Mrs. Shari were even able to find shelter for our dogs because they are a part of our family and without them we would have been lost. Mrs. Jayne gave a good word for me at Grace Marketplace and I was hired immediately out of my interview, also only two weeks of being there. My mother was also able to find employment within the first few weeks as well. We were able to get our daughter into an amazing after school program with their assistance. Someone even donated us a vehicle. I could go on and on for hours about the amazing things Family Promise did for us.
The people from the churches are heaven sent. Everyone that is involved in Family Promise needs to know how very important they were in our lives and how very thankful we are for them. Life as a family without a home and nowhere to turn for help is something I never want to experience again. Thank God for Family Promise coming into our lives, and thank God we didn’t have to be alone any longer than we were.
We have all successfully kept and maintained our jobs. We have all moved into our own homes during the last month. We are happy. We are healthy. We are HOME again. Our child is so ecstatic about our new house. She’s doing wonderfully in school. Although we experienced lots of heartache and sadness throughout all of this, we wouldn’t change this experience for anything in this world.
This is not only our story, but it’s our story of success. THANK YOU SO MUCH FAMILY PROMISE AND EVERY SINGLE VOLUNTEER INVOLVED.
You are all Angels.
Matthew, Rachael, Aubree, and Bethel