Couple Hasn’t Forgotten the Help They Received
Trying to support a family of seven on a single fast food manager’s salary finally caught up to Deona and Joseph in 2006.
“He was working and I was a stay-at-home mom,” Deona recalled. “There just wasn’t enough money. We tried to make it but we couldn’t. We got evicted.”
Deona, Joseph and their five children – including an infant – stayed with friends for about two months before hearing about the Mission.
“We didn’t want to be a burden on someone else’s household,” Deona said. “We needed somewhere to be. A woman I sang in choir with used to work at the Mission and she referred us.”
When the family arrived at O.U.R. Mission Home, Deona was amazed by what she found.
“My first impression was how clean it was, because of what I expected a shelter to be,” she said. “But this wasn’t a shelter. It was a home for our family. We felt a burden lifted right away.”
Joseph continued working and received a promotion during the family’s stay. He and Deona learned how to manage their money and were able to save for when they moved out. They attended the Victorious Life class and grew stronger in their faith.
“What that reminded us was that God is with us – even at our lowest point,” Deona said.
Meanwhile, the children enjoyed their time at the Mission.
“The younger ones adjusted quickly. Our oldest was 12 or 13 at the time and it was a little harder for him,” Deona said. “But overall it was a good experience for our entire family.”
After moving out, Joseph went on to take classes and become a surgical technologist at a hospital. He makes more money than he did in his previous job and the family – now with a sixth child – has a house in Orlando.
Deona and Joseph haven’t forgotten about the generosity they were shown when they needed help and they make it a point to pay it forward. They’ve hosted four or five people who have fallen into hard times and referred several to the Mission.
“We know what it’s like to be in their shoes and we just want to give some of the hope that we received,” Deona said. “It’s not a situation anyone wants to find themselves in but we are glad the Mission was there for us, and that we can be there for them.”
Deona and Joseph are on a path to financial security and able to help others thanks to lessons learned at the Mission. Your gift of $26.82 provides a day of life-changing care, including life skills education, for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida!