THE LIGHT: June 2019

Blake at Atlanta Mission's, The Shepherd’s Inn

“Back On My Feet”

When a perfect storm of misfortunes threatened to crush Blake, he could have ended up on the streets. But he didn’t. Thanks to you.

My life wasn’t supposed to end up like this. I grew up in a good Christian home. I never struggled with drugs or alcohol. I went to college and I always worked hard. But here I am. I am homeless. I live in a shelter. How did I get here?

Growing up in Peachtree City, I had dreams of a baseball career. When I was 18, I dislocated a hip playing ball. It quickly popped back into place and I never thought much about it after that. I didn’t know it then, but the injury cut off the blood flow to the joint, and over the next several years, the bone slowly died.

My baseball career never panned out. But I got married and carved out a good career. I worked hard and my life was good—until the wheels started coming off when I was 35.

One night, I woke up and my hip ached—and over the next year, it got worse and worse. When I started putting more pressure on my other hip to compensate, I damaged it, too. Eventually, the pain in both hips got so bad I could no longer work

I desperately needed hip-replacement surgery. But just days before the scheduled surgery, my insurance coverage was declined. I filed for disability, but I was denied that, too. Then my wife divorced me. And by 2016, I lost the use of my legs and ended up in a wheelchair.

As my life fell apart, I grew increasingly depressed. I prayed, but it seemed like God never answered. I started questioning whether He was there at all.

Finally, a year ago, I lost my apartment. Homeless, I came to Atlanta Mission. Honestly, I needed more than food and shelter, I needed to get right with God.

And ever since, through counseling and the spiritual guidance I found here, God has turned my life around. Last November, I finally got my disability approved, and now I can schedule the hip-replacement surgery that will enable me to walk and work again.

As a donor to Atlanta Mission, your kindness and generosity transformed my life. I know my story is different from many men, women, and children who become homeless. But in one way, it’s the same: I needed compassion. I needed help. And you gave that to me. No one deserves to end up homeless on the streets. Thanks to you, there’s a refuge of hope for people like me. It’s called Atlanta Mission.


 

two men shaking hands help those facing homelessness feel empowered

Double the Impact, Double the Hope

The Justin Landis Group, a local affiliate of the real estate company Keller Williams, has committed a $90,000 Matching Challenge Gift to help our homeless neighbors.

Every donation given by June 30 will be matched dollar for dollar – providing twice as much help.

Your donations will help those experiencing homelessness in Atlanta receive things like: food, shelter, addiction recovery, educational services, counseling, and job attainment.


 

Every Life is a Story

Dear Friend,

Every day, Atlanta Mission provides nearly 1,000 men, women, and children with much-needed food, shelter, and healing services that help transform their lives. Every one of those 1,000 men, women, and children are uniquely made in the image of God. Each one has his or her own tragic story to tell—and every story is different

Some come struggling with drugs and alcohol. Others come bearing the emotional wounds of past abuse, wounds that have wrecked their lives. Some are young mothers who couldn’t make ends meet. Others are older women traumatized from the horrors of the streets—some of whom you will meet on page 3 of this issue of The Light. And still others are those who simply fell through the cracks through no fault of their own—people like Blake.

No two stories are ever the same. Yet every one has this in common: Every man, woman, and child who comes to Atlanta Mission needs hope. Each one deserves compassion and love—and the new life that only Jesus Christ can give them. Every one needs people like you and me to care.

And we do care. Thanks to you, Atlanta Mission offers meals, shelter, hope, and the promise of new life to hurting men, women, and children who come seeking our help—24/7, 365 days a year. Your generosity is transforming lives. Thank you for your extraordinary commitment.

Gratefully,

Jim Reese

President & CEO

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