Up from the Ashes
“Mommy and Daddy are the paper,” said 9-year-old Tyshaun, “but I’m the glue. I’m going to hold this family together.”
Tyshaun was just 9 years old when she and her mom and sister had to sleep on the streets.
“It was scary,” she remembers.
Tyshaun’s father, Clyde, had just gone to jail for forgery. Her mother, Kim, had just been released, after serving time for writing bad checks. Both parents struggled with alcoholism, and the family had lost their home.
With no place to turn, Kim, Tyshaun, and older daughter Danielle (14) lived on the streets for about a week. But things were about to get better . . .
A cruel upbringing
Kim’s childhood was brutal. Her father was a drug dealer, her mother was mentally ill, and both were abusive. “Constant violence,” Kim says. “I had to learn the streets pretty quick.”
She drank heavily as a teen and young adult, but quit when she was about 30. She got married, had kids, stayed sober for 14 years, and became an executive chef. Life was good — at work, at home, and in the family.
But when she lost her job, Kim relapsed hard. Then Clyde relapsed. Facing poverty, both turned to petty crime to make ends meet, both got caught, and both did time. The kids ended up with Children’s Services for a couple of months before being returned to their mother.
Kim had heard about Atlanta Mission, and she and the girls ended up at My Sister’s House, Atlanta Mission’s home for women and children.
Kim went through addiction recovery, intense counseling, and parenting classes. Then she was hired as a cook at My Sister’s House. Danielle and Tyshaun started making friends.
When Clyde was released from jail, he went to Atlanta Mission and turned his life around. Today, the family is reunited and living together in an Atlanta apartment complex.
The family “glue”
When Kim was at her lowest, hung over and in bed, Tyshaun said, “Mommy, God knew you were going to relapse. That’s why he gave y’all me. You and Daddy are the paper, but I’m the glue. I’m going to hold this family together.”
“It was like hearing the words of an old soul,” Kim says today.
Now that the family’s intact again, Tyshaun says she’ll never forget how Atlanta Mission helped them.“They took care of us,” she says. “I’m happy they were part of my life.”
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!