Daniell’s Story: A single mother of four finds refuge and a new outlook on life – Orlando Union Rescue Mission

Daniell’s Story: A single mother of four finds refuge and a new outlook on life

 In Newsletter Story, Story, Success Story

Daniell, a single mother of two, was overjoyed to learn that she and her fiancé were expecting their first child together. “I stopped working to be an at-home wife and mother,” Daniell says. After the arrival of their son, they married. “Then, things went downhill.”

Daniell’s husband began abusing drugs. “It just got really, really ugly,” she recalls. “Really bad financially, mentally, everything.” To complicate matters, Daniell learned she was pregnant with their second son. “I reached the point where enough was enough for me,” she says. “I was leaving with four kids. I didn’t have a job. It was like starting completely over, but I felt like taking my kids out of that situation was the best thing to do, even if it meant leaving without a plan, without knowing what was going to happen. At that point, I had to choose my kids.”

A pastor in Wildwood, Florida, told Daniell about the Orlando Union Rescue Mission.

She decided to apply, and within weeks, she and her kids were accepted into the OURM’s Family Home. But their stay was short. Overwhelmed by the reality of being a single mother of four, she struggled to follow the program. “I felt like maybe it wasn’t the right place for me. It was too much,” she admits. “So, I left.”

Two years passed, but Daniell’s situation only worsened. “I was just tired, and I knew if I didn’t ask for help, things would never get better,” she says. “I was so tired of not being stable and of not knowing if my kids were going to have a stable place to stay.” Desperate and exhausted, Daniell turned once more to the Mission. “By the grace of God, I was accepted again. I promised myself that if I got back in, I was going to do exactly what I was asked to do. I was going to hit the ground running.”

Daniell and her children—Aysiah, 17, Ayliah, 15, Kip, 6, and Jake, 5—moved into the Family Home in June 2021. “My first night at the Mission, I felt so safe,” Daniell says. “I felt like I was away from the world and all its distractions and headaches and mental distress. I was finally in a place of peace.”

Since returning to the Mission, Daniell has kept her promise to make the most of her second chance. In eight short months, she has earned her Clinical Medical Assistant Certification, her Administrative Assistant Certification, and her Basic Life Support Certification through Valencia College’s Accelerated Skills Training Program. “I’m really excited. I didn’t think I could do it,” she admits. “This year makes 20 years since being out of high school, but my kids and my case manager believed in me. They encouraged me to try.” Daniell’s children also are thriving. “My teenagers are taking Victorious Life Classes, and they like it,” she says. “And my boys like being in the Youth Learning Center.”

Daniell’s long-term goal is to purchase her own home. “That has always been a dream of mine because growing up, we never had a home of our own,” she says. “I grew up in the projects, partially raised by my grandmother. I don’t really know what it is to be raised by homeowners, and I want that for my kids. I want my kids to have their own rooms.”

As for now, Daniell is proud of the progress she’s made, and she is grateful to the Orlando Union Rescue Mission—and generous ministry partners like you—for helping change the trajectory of her life. “I don’t have to worry if my lights are going to be on or off or if I’m going to have running water. Every morning, when I go downstairs, I know my kids will have breakfast. I know I will get a bag lunch and that we will have dinner at night. I also get free daycare. As a mother of four, not to have to worry about those things while I’m working to make a better life for my family is incredible,” she says. “But that’s exactly what the Mission does. This place is truly a blessing.”

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