Janet’s Shame Met With Understanding, Compassion
The standard procedure for most children when they come down with chicken pox usually includes a week off of school and plenty of extra care from Mom and Dad. But when it’s just Mom in the house, a week off from school also can mean a week off of work – putting much more at risk than homework assignments.
That’s exactly what happened to Janet in 1995.
Janet had two elementary school-aged children and one infant son. When her oldest son came down with chicken pox, Janet knew it was only a matter of time before her other two children developed it. Since the children were sick, she couldn’t take them to daycare, which meant she couldn’t go to work.
She explained her dilemma to her employer but, instead of receiving compassion, she was fired.
For six weeks, Janet nursed her children back to health while also trying to figure out a way to keep the household afloat. Without a paycheck, Janet couldn’t afford her rent and had to move into her sister’s two-bedroom apartment. It was cramped, but at least they had a roof over their heads.
It was Janet’s sister who discovered the Orlando Union Rescue Mission as a possible solution for the family. For Janet, it was a bitter pill to swallow. “I was humiliated – no one in my family had been homeless before,” she said.
Once her family arrived at the Mission, Janet’s shame was met with understanding and compassion. The staff prayed for her family and introduced them to a beautifully decorated room of their own. She learned that God had not brought her there to embarrass her – instead, it was His provision in her season of unexpected loss. She didn’t have to worry about taking care of basic needs for her children; she could look for a job to get them back on their own again.
Within a few months, Janet found a night-shift position at the post office. She continued to live at the Mission, saving money and looking for another job that would be more conducive to raising young children. After a year, she took a job at a pest control company and moved to Apopka, where she lives today.
Janet’s lived a lot of life since moving on from the Mission. She married a man soon after leaving the Mission but lost him to liver disease last year. For the past 13 years, she’s worked as a technical engineer at Sprint and watched her children grow up and move out of the house. Two of her children have married – her daughter moved to Hawaii with her husband, who is in the military. Both of her sons live in Apopka, along with her first grandbaby.
The shock of losing her job back in 1995 turned out to be the start of a pivotal time in Janet’s life. She can see a clear difference in her life and her family from before the Mission and after.
“I was probably a hard person to love at the time, but the staff loved me anyways,” she said. “Their compassion towards us in our time of need is something I’ll never forget. It was one of the most amazing things that I could take with me – just the simple fact that I was loved.”
While staying the Mission, Janet received help providing for her children as she looked for a job. Each day, O.U.R. Mission Home offers life-changing care to nearly 33 families, like Janet’s. Help create more stories of life transformation through your support today. Your gift of $26.82 provides a hot meal and life changing care for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida.