Though homelessness in our county is growing and it is not always pleasant to think about, it still needs to be talked about. Why would a person not want to get a first-hand perspective of what it looks like to be homeless? It is because men, women, and children are experiencing this type of life in our towns! It is tough to understand how this can be, but it is not always a story of lost hope. There is no one predominant reason for a person to become homeless. Quite often guests at UCAN City Mission have overcome the circumstances that have caused them to become homeless. They were able to move on with housing, employment, stability and more. The greatest is those who receive an eternal change of heart through seeing that God does love them. One of our guests, Joe M. wanted to share some of his story of how God loves him and wanted to encourage others to not give up on God. Together with Joe, we looked at some key questions to help others get a new perspective.
What does it look and feel like to be homeless? I never knew what that looked like until just a short time ago. Hello, my name is Joe M. (also a veteran) I have found myself at the age of 60, homeless and no where to go. It was a struggle not knowing where to start or who to get in touch with that could help me. I was feeling hopeless. I didn’t know what I was going to do! With my health issues, I couldn’t find traditional work that would help open the door for housing. The Lord literally led me to the (UCAN City) mission as the Executive Director walked into the coffee shop in which I was sitting. That is the day the door opened for me to come to the mission.
What were some of my greatest challenges being here at the mission? In my situation, some of it has been staying on track and maintaining my health. The mission is only a temporary solution and is not easy. Another has been trying to find housing in this age of technology with some applications for housing being online. A major struggle of it, has been getting my life back in order with the Lord. If it is God’s will, I would like to find a relationship with a good woman to keep me motivated.
What do you feel are some of your achievements since coming to the mission? Of my successes, my greatest one, I have found that I am living my life for the Lord again. I didn’t truly believe in love or know what that looked like. The love I knew was just between me and God. It was never toward another person. The staff at the mission, cared for me, didn’t judge me, and showed me what love truly looks like. I am forever grateful and will always love them. Because of my walk with God, I have put down the alcohol and I am no longer smoking pot. I have started to get some leads on some long-term housing and moving forward. I have had many organizations and people willing to help me any way that they can to move forward.
What are some of your hopes and plans? Some, of my hopes and plans are to keep living life with the Lord. I do want to move into suitable long-term affordable housing. I want to use what I have learned with my stay at the mission to help others who are experiencing a similar journey.

Where true hope lies.