2016 Spring Newsletter – Scott & Ella’s Stry
The 2005 Nissan Quest sit broken down in the parking lot a O.U.R. Mission home. It hasn’t moved in five months and it’s been even longer since Scott made a payment on it. It’s in such bad shape the bank won’t even bother repossessing it.
Still, Scott says, it serves a purpose.
“It’s a constant reminder to me of what happens when I go against the advice of the Mission.”
When Scott, his wife Elisa and two sons drove that car away from O.U.R. Mission Home in June of 2013, they had $10,000 in the bank and Scott was making more than $1,000 a week as a call
center manager. The future appeared bright for a family that just 10 months earlier had arrived penniless, hungry and on the verge of homelessness.
They were, by all appearances, a Mission success story – a family that within a year found stable employment, saved up their money and was ready for a fresh start. But appearances can be deceiving.
“We got back out into the world and things were OK for a little while we had built our foundation on sand and it started to crumble.”
Things fell apart when Scott lost his job last April, but he says the seeds of destruction were planted two years earlier when he decided to finance the car – going against the Mission rule of residents not
taking on any new debts. That decision: led to their departure and was an example of how he and Elisa had taken their time here for granted.
“We did everything we were asked to do but I don’t think we fully embraced what this experience could be. If you come into this program and embrace it, you can grow and mature, but we didn’t get it. Our mindset was to save as much as we could and move out as fast as we could.”
By the middle of last summer, it was 95 degrees in their apartment. The electricity was shut off, and so was the water, as the family faced eviction. During those difficult times, their thoughts returned to the Mission.
“We talked about how we’d like to have a second shot, do it the right way, grow spiritually and become stable people so we don’t ever get in this position again.”
Scott and Elisa inquired about returning and were welcomed back. Elisa remembers how it felt to finally be able to take a shower, bathe her children and wash her clothes.
“It was such a relief, she says. It was like I could breathe again.”
This time, Scott and Elisa are making the most of every moment here. Elisa works mornings as a housekeeper and is taking classes to get her 4C child care license, while Scott works in the kitchen and is preparing to start culinary school.
“I’m looking for a career path – not just a job like I had before -something more stable.”
The couple also has embraced the biblical counseling, chapel services and other programs designed to give them a strong spiritual foundation to build on. Elisa was baptized in January and Scott will be this month. Both are grateful for a second chance.
“When we came back, it was like a new start, Scott soys. There was no judgment or anything like that. We’ve being given so much in such a generous way.”