“Hello, my name is Jeanie and I have been here at the shelter since July 2017. Before I came here, I was with a guy who was very mentally, emotionally and physically abusive. I attempted suicide several times and had been in and out of a mental health facilities to numb the pain – all before coming here. Since I have arrived at the shelter, I have realized and experienced that people do care. I secured employment right away (currently working 2 jobs), have been able to get my car fixed and running, and I am currently saving money for my own place, which I hope to be in by this spring. The staff at Mission25 have really helped me to see that I am a strong person and that I deserve to be loved in the right way. I have experienced some trials while at the shelter. Sadly, my mom passed away while I have been here, but I have received the love and support I need from the staff and those I share this space with. Today, I am thankful that Mission25 has allowed me to be a part of this program. I am better today than when I came in.” Jeanie
For Ms. J, her life before coming to Mission25 was, “scattered, with no direction and was stuck.” Ms. J completed her 10-month individualized journey through Mission25 on March 28, 2018. She and her infant son moved into their very own apartment – she has never lived on her own. When she was asked how her life changed while at the shelter, she said, “I have more direction and a clearer path. I don’t feel so alone and I have more confidence; I feel like I can do it. I have been able to build relationships and I simply have a peace of mind.” When Ms. J was asked how she will continue to grow as an individual while on her own, she states, “I will keep up with my therapy, continue working and make the house my home.” Ms. J
In July 2017, a single mom with five children came to the shelter from a different shelter from another county (the other shelter was an emergency shelter and she had already extended her stay there). When Ms. S arrived, the family was in chaos and we discovered very quickly that this single mom and her children had been jumping from home/couch to couch for a very long time – never a home to call their own. Ms. S and her children had MANY challenges that consumed their entire family and our staff discovered quickly that her individualized pathway would be extensive and critical.
By the time school started, Ms. S and her family began utilizing several services for mental/behavioral health related challenges. Many supportive services wrapped around this family and by September/October 2017, there were approximately 10 different supportive services meeting with Ms. S and her children. Unfortunately, part of her life story includes the moment when her children were removed from her care and put into foster care just days before Christmas. However, with that said, Ms. S continued to work on her personal challenges so that she could begin having visits with her children.
Along Ms. S’s journey through our Pathway Program, Ms. S was eligible for permanent supportive housing and was able to move into her very own 4-bedroom home in April 2018. Ms. S receives supervised visits with her children and the hope is for reunification of all children with their mom. We now provide outreach services to Ms. S to ensure that she is meeting all expectations of the Division of Children Services and all the supportive services connected with her. We believe Ms. S continues to make great strides in life improvements and self-sufficiency. Ms. S has this to say about her journey through our program, “Someday, I hope to give back to other mothers who have gone through what I have gone through. Mission25 gave me a platform for change that I could not get from society. Mission25 gave me a chance. I think about what people have done for my children and myself, and I know it has put me in a position to find the ways to change and to be better. I am thankful to be a better mother, to be clean and to be a homemaker once again.” Ms. S
2023 UPDATE AT THE END (trust us, you will want to read more) ….
In the winter of 2020, Miss Bloom, with the help of her therapist, decided it was time for her to focus on herself and her own journey. She searched for shelters that could offer her assistance. “I spent days and weeks just considering calling (Mission 25). I read every page on their website multiple times and examined every sentence thoroughly. And when I finally picked up the phone, I was met with such encouragement and love; I started the process,” she recalls.
On January 7, 2020, Miss bloom became Mission 25’s newest resident. “I recall being almost frozen with anxiety and shyness, but I knew I couldn’t turn back,” she says, “At first, I was terrified. Every day I woke up wondering what I was doing. (And thinking) I wasn’t meant to live a life like this. I was not worthy of the support system I was given, and I feared that everyone around me felt the same.”
Before coming to Mission 25, Miss Bloom had not had a job. Due to having muscular dystrophy, she didn’t even know if she could work. Mission 25 connected Miss bloom with Vocational Rehab, who assisted her in obtaining and finding the proper employment. It took some adjusting and finding the best employer for her. Walmart offered her a livable income and accommodated her physical needs. “I started to think maybe the world wasn’t against me. Maybe my journey is what I make it, “ she recalls.
At this point, Miss Bloom started to think that her time at Mission 25 was growing to an end, and she started to wonder what would be next for her. Last year, Mission 25 began a supportive housing program as the next step for some clients. Miss Bloom was one of the clients who entered this program. “I wasn’t sure how I felt about a longer program, but in supportive housing, living on my own but with the supports still in place, I feel this is where I truly flourished,” she reflects.
Interestingly, Miss bloom moved into her own apartment exactly one year after walking through the doors at Mission 25. “I thought it was a beautiful coincidence. And in that year, I’ve grown immensely. I’ve planted seeds, and finally, I was sprouting. I love my new place, and even more, I love being on my own,” she shares.
Through what Miss Bloom says was her largest leap of faith (yet), she has found that she can live on her own, have a job, advocate for herself and has a team of supporters behind her. After finding out she was approved for disability, “I was met with hugs and tears and congratulations from all the staff at Mission 25. What a day it was. After all the fighting, I had finally won.”
In 2023, Miss Bloom enters her second year in Mission 25 Supportive Housing, she has started the process of homeownership.
2023 UPDATE … In November 2023, Miss Bloom closed on her FIRST HOUSE!! She will be moved into her new home before Christmas.
“Thank you so much to my friends at Mission 25 for housing me and helping me grow beyond my wildest dreams. Thanks to all the ladies I lived with and who dealt with my antics! Hearing your stories and watching you all grow was so inspiring.
Thank you, Columbia City, for always welcoming me everywhere I go. I can smile and dance and hum my stupid songs without ever feeling weird or out there.
Thank you to my therapist, Sydney (former case manager at Mission 25) for always believing in me and getting me out of my awful shell and showing me around town, helping me build goals and aspirations, and just simply always being there.
Thank you to Pathfinder Services and the USDA for teaming up to get me this beautiful home. Everyone I worked with at Pathfinder Services was an absolute treat and I can’t recommend their services enough! Thank you, Brandon (The Ferrell Group-Keller Williams Realty) for helping me on my home search and being there every step of the way to finding my new home and getting it closed! Every step of this journey has been new and brilliant and sometimes crazy. Thank you to everyone who has been with me through it all! I love you all!”
We at Mission 25 are incredibly proud of Miss Bloom and all that she has accomplished in her nearly 3-year journey through TWO of our programs (shelter services and supportive housing). Miss Bloom worked hard EVERY SINGLE DAY to make things happen – she CHOSE daily to do hard things. Our favorite part of her story is how she surrounded herself with a large net of services, supports, friends, family, c0-workers, and professionals. She knew that building her community would be needed to keep moving forward and boy did she build a big community!!