Maeling Won’t Allow Her Past to Define Her
Maeling and her 6-month-old daughter were living with her boyfriend in 2011 when the unthinkable happened: She was raped by one of his friends. Shattered and frightened, she took her little girl and fled the house.
She quickly found herself scraping together the basic necessities for daily living- which felt more like survival – while also trying to find a job that would create the future she needed to get out homelessness. Her uncle offered to let her live with him while she searched for a job, and an opportunity to start over. But that opportunity went up in smoke when Maeling and her uncle began to clash. In order to keep the relationship intact, Maeling knew she needed to leave.
Feeling alone and broken, Maeling started calling different places for help. When she found the Orlando Union Rescue Mission, she was amazed to hear she would be able to live there for free and that the Mission’s nursery provided free childcare for her daughter while she looked for work.
It was at the Mission that Maeling got the opportunity she needed to set her family on a new course. She had the drive to make a better life for her family, and the Mission simply gave her the tools to do so. The staff marveled at how quickly she adapted to the program that was laid out for her.
“She attended every class and every Bible study. She worked hard to find a job and, sure enough, she found one within a month or so of being here,” said Penny, one of the staff who worked closely with Maeling. “Her work ethic was unmatched.”
Maeling was hired at the Orlando International Airport and began putting aside every dollar she could so that she could provide a home for herself and her daughter. When she wasn’t working, she received Christian counseling to help her heal from her past and find the strength she needed to raise her daughter on her own.
“The Mission taught me the skills I need to live successfully,” Maeling said. “They also took the time to help me see that my past doesn’t have to define me.”
Within 6 months, Maeling had saved enough money to move into an apartment near the airport. The Mission helped her find everything she needed to make her new place a home of her own. Today, Maeling still works at the airport and is being considered for a promotion.
“I’m so grateful for my time at the Mission,” she said. “They cared for us every step of the way and helped us learn how to live life on our own. There’s no better feeling than that.”
Maeling was able find a job, grow closer to God and rebuild her life during her time at the Mission. Each day, O.U.R. Mission Hope provides life-changing care to more than 30 families. Your gift of $26.82 provides a hot meal and a day of care for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida.