Tamika Realizes God Did Not Forget Her
Tamika and her three kids found themselves facing eviction when she lost her job in 2009. She bounced from one family member’s house to the next, frantically searching for work with no luck.
When her friends and family could no longer help her, she looked to outside sources for help and found the Orlando Union Rescue Mission. Facing the fact that her family was homeless was a tough reality to confront.
“I felt embarrassed and ashamed – I had never been in that position and I had no idea how I was going to provide for my kids,” she said. “I was a certified medical assistant but I just couldn’t find a job.”
It wasn’t long before Tamika realized that God had brought her family there to care for them, not to shame them. The basic provisions like food, shelter, and hygiene products eased the stress of caring for the physical needs for her children. This allowed Tamika to focus on a long-term solution for her family. She participated in a work-training program that helped her identify growth-areas in her life and gave her tools to succeed in the workforce. This led to her getting hired as a registered medical assistant.
Not only were Tamika’s outward needs met, she was also able to work through the deep pain that comes with seasons of great difficulty. Her case manager, along with other Mission staff, listened to her cry, comforted her and helped her figure out how to live sustainably. Her children were able to get help with their schoolwork and have access to positive after-school activities, such as Bible study and field trips, through the Family Life Center.
When Tamika thinks back to some of the biggest blessings her family received during their stay, there’s one memory in particular that stands out: Christmas. While Tamika spent the holiday season wondering how she was going to afford to give her kids gifts, donors from all over the community got together to fulfill her children’s Christmas wish lists – which meant more than just having something to open on Christmas morning.
Tamika can still see the looks on her children’s faces that Christmas morning: “My 11-year old daughter fell on her knees and said, ‘Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!’ It was in that moment that my kids realized that God had not forgotten them.”
In 2010, Tamika had saved enough money through her full time job to rent an apartment on the south side of downtown Orlando. As a parting gift, the Mission furnished their new place with furniture, linens, and household items to help make their new apartment a warm, welcoming home for the whole family. A year later, Tamika met a wonderful, godly man who she married and the family now lives in a house on the same side of town.
It’s been four years since Tamika walked through the Mission doors, weary with shame and discouragement. It was her family’s time at the Mission that showed them how to move past the pain of loss and look toward the future with hope.
“The Mission showed us that love is an action verb – they really do love you while you’re there and after you leave. Because of that, my family learned how to depend on each other.” she said. “We owe everything we are and have to the Orlando Union Rescue Mission.”
Tamika was able to move past the pain of loss and look toward the future with confidence. Each day, O.U.R. Mission Home provides that kind of hope for more than 30 families like Tamika’s. Help create more stories of life transformation through your support today. Each gift of $26.82 provides a hot meal and life changing care for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida!