Two years ago, Fred was working as a security guard. Then, just like that, his own security was gone.
He’d been laid off and couldn’t find more work. He was barely surviving on his unemployment checks — and then his car died.
“I was low on finances, heading toward destitution, and unable to pay rent,” he says.
Fred hit the streets, not knowing where he would turn. He was terrified he’d have to spend the night outside, alone. And worse, it was almost Christmas.
“What a time to be homeless,” he says.
He started asking others who were homeless if they could recommend a place to stay. Several pointed to Atlanta Mission, so Fred decided to check it out.
“That first night, I got a good meal and a good night’s sleep,” he says.
The next day, Fred went out and “pounded the pavement,” as he puts it, and applied for numerous jobs. He did it again the next day. And the next.
For almost a full year, Fred kept looking . . . and striking out. It was discouraging, but Atlanta Mission staff helped keep him going.
“I wanted a job right away, but it didn’t happen, and that was frustrating,” he says. “I kept wondering, When will this end? When will I be self-sufficient again?
“Atlanta Mission was a psychological lifesaver for me. I can’t say enough about how much support I got from them. It really makes a difference, because [extended unemployment] can be pretty scary.
“But they kept saying, ‘Just keep plowing ahead. Do your thing. God will take care of everything. As long as you believe and do your part, things will work out.’”
Which is exactly what happened. Atlanta Mission kept encouraging him and giving him vocational training. And Fred got a job — as a security guard — and moved into Fuqua Hall, Atlanta Mission’s transitional housing unit. He is working and saving money to move out some time in 2016.
Fred is looking forward to living on his own again, but says it never would’ve happened without Atlanta Mission.
“They changed my life,” he says. “I had gotten away from God, and they brought me back to God. They also gave me a greater appreciation for my perspective on life. I used to be selfish, putting me first. I’m not selfish any more. I’m putting others first.”
Stories like this are a direct result of your kindness. The lives of men, women, and children are being transformed every day at Atlanta Mission. Thank you for your continued support!