Cindy Pulls Success From Ashes of Despair
Cindy arrived in Orlando in 2011 with bright hopes for her three young children and her career. Both were in need of a boost – her middle daughter wasn’t doing well in school and the income from Cindy’s job wasn’t stretching far enough to support the family. “I thought a big city would have more opportunities for me and better access to resources for my daughter,” Cindy remembered.
She stayed at her sister’s rental home temporarily as she looked for work and a permanent place to call home. But the overcrowded apartment was soon found out by the landlord and, in November 2011, she was asked to leave. Cindy can still remember packing up the car, unsure where they would go. The thought hit her like a ton of bricks: they were homeless.
She called different shelters in town and found that every single one was full. That night, the family had no choice but to sleep in the car. “I felt like such a failure as a mother that night. But I just kept praying and tried to keep myself together for the sake of my kids.”
The next day, while her 9- and 7-year-old children were at school, Cindy got a call from the Orlando Union Rescue Mission: There was a spot available for them! She picked up her kids and arrived at the Mission, not knowing what awaited them.
“When we saw the place, we were overjoyed! My kids were so excited,” she said. “They kept asking, ‘Are we staying here? Is this a mansion?’”
During their year-long stay, Cindy was able to develop a strong foundation for her family. She took parenting classes, financial planning classes, and participated in a hospitality program that landed her a full-time job at the JW Marriott in Orlando. That job helped her pay off her car and build up her savings. Her 2-year-old daughter was able to play in the nursery while mom was at work and her older children got the help they needed in school. Her daughter, who was struggling at school, was even able to catch up with her peers.
When the time came, the Mission helped Cindy’s family transition to independent living. Cindy and her case manager decided on January 2013 as the family’s move out date. Staff members helped her find an apartment near the Mall at Millennia and furnish it for free through O.U.R. Mission Bargain Store. They also gave her the moral support she needed as she stepped out on her own for the first time since moving to Orlando.
Almost nine months later, Cindy is proud to say she is maintaining her job at the JW Marriott and her children are doing well in school. She’s grateful for a job that keeps their family self-sufficient and provides for their needs. Tears come to her eyes at the thought of how God has provided for her family through generous friends of the Mission.
“Words aren’t enough to express how much I appreciate them,” she said. “I had no idea there were people out there that really cared. It takes people with a big heart to do what they have done for me and my family.”
The Mission helped Cindy strengthen the foundation of her family while preparing her to find a full-time job. O.U.R. Mission Home offers this kind of life-changing care to more than 30 families each day. Your support today will create more stories of transformation tomorrow. Each gift of $26.82 provides a hot meal and care for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida!