Family Finds the Tools to Rebuild Their Lives
Angela’s world went up in smoke in 2005 after a very difficult divorce. She had been working as an assistant administrator in the Nursing Department at Valencia College for 10 years but the sudden change in the family dynamic left her with little time to figure out how to support herself and her three teenage children on one income.
As a result, her home went into foreclosure, leaving the family with no place to live. They moved in with a relative as a temporary measure. “All three of us slept in a small bedroom. It was hard, but my faith in God taught me to give thanks for all things – I was thankful we were together and I knew our circumstances were going to get better.”
Her search for help turned up the Orlando Union Rescue Mission. It wasn’t long before they moved in and were relieved to be in a private room that could accommodate all of them comfortably. Angela’s family knew that their time at the Mission depended on what they made of it.
“They assign chores to all of the residents and my chore was to mop. I always did it with a smile on my face because it’s all that was asked of me in return for the physical and spiritual resources they showered on us,” Angela said.
Angela had to learn how to care for her children as the sole provider and leader of the household. She was able to maintain her job at the college while she learned the tools she needed to get the family back on their feet. She describes feeling like a sponge as she attended the Bible studies and financial classes that would help her define her future circumstances rather than letting them define her.
After saving money from her job and living on a newly written budget, Angela and two of her children moved into a home of their own in 2007. Her oldest son, Larry, had left for school at the University of North Georgia and the U.S. Army Reserves in 2006. He is now a graduate of UNG and is working to become an officer in the US Army. Angela’s middle son graduated Valencia College this past May and is now pursuing his master’s degree at UCF. Her daughter is still working on finishing her degree in Dance at Valencia College.
“Sometimes you live in a bubble without realizing it and when it pops, you discover a whole different world. That’s what happened when we became homeless,” admitted Angela. “Now that I know what it’s like, my goal is to give back as much as I can, to care for others the way they cared for me and my family during our time of need.”
Staying at the Mission allowed Angela and her family to stay together while learning how to get back on their feet. 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.