The Best Year of Yuneisha’s Life – Orlando Union Rescue Mission

The Best Year of Yuneisha’s Life

 In Story

In one short year, Yuneisha went from being unemployed and sleeping in her car to having a good-paying job and her own apartment. During that year, she also became a certified pharmacy technician and paid off more than three thousand dollars to become debt free.

“This has been the best year of my life,” the 22-year-old says of her 12 months at the Mission’s Family Home. “It wasn’t always easy, and it wasn’t always fun. It was a lot of hard work but it was worth it. I’m grateful for everyone who helped me.”

Yuneisha was living with and taking care of her great-grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s, until it was time to place her in a nursing home. Yuneisha bounced among family and friends before winding up living in her car, which lasted until it was repossessed.

“At that point, I literally had nowhere else to go. My aunt helped me find the Mission. I couldn’t believe it when I got here. I had envisioned a shelter being a bunch of beds lined up against a wall in one big room. But here I had my own room. It felt like home.”

Yuneisha immediately began working to get her life back on track. She had already graduated high school and taken pharmacy technician classes two years earlier, but she had failed the certification test. So, with her case manager coaching and cheering her on, she spent nearly all her free time re-learning and studying for the test.

“I had forgotten a lot of it, so it was like going back to school all over again. There were times I wanted to quit, but Miss Naomi kept pushing me. I wouldn’t have made it without her.”

Finally, after months of hard work, a private donor provided the money for her test and she passed it in June.

Within weeks of being certified, Yuneisha got a pharmacy job making $14 an hour, and she recently got a raise to $16.

Yuneisha spent the rest of the summer eliminating $3,000 in debt and saving money for her own place.

Meanwhile, another friend of the Mission donated a car so she could get back and forth to work.

In September — almost a year to the day after coming to the Mission — Yuneisha moved into her own apartment.

“I honestly don’t know where I’d be without the Mission, and the people who support it. I was on the streets with no plans, and no hope. I came here and found my purpose. I just want to say thank you to everyone who made it possible.”

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