An Inspirational True Story:
Steve’s mother was very poor when she conceived him. She contracted a simple kidney infection that went untreated until shortly before birth and the infection resulted in mild brain damage for her child. Steve was damaged for life; progress was slower, both physical and mental abilities were less well performed- but only slightly. Steve was destined to be less capable than his peers; his life would be marked by ridicule, by people taking advantage of him, and by feelings of worthlessness. His mom did the best she could: made him go to school, do homework, work around the house- a typical mothers best efforts with the resources available, but Steve just didn’t get react to life fast enough. He was never bad enough to be put in a half-way house, or a group home, but he wasn’t well enough to thrive on his own very well. He could survive but not thrive. The depression was pretty bad too! He knew something was wrong and it hurt him that he couldn’t fix himself. He tried everything… and ended up trying to self-medicate. Alcohol made him feel less self-conscious, but he couldn’t afford much (a blessing in disguise) stealing was starting to look like his only way to survive, but his mom always told him that was wrong.
After his mom died he wandered around until he found The Refuge of Hope; finally a place to get help, from people who were kind to him. Sure, they had rules that irked him, but they had lots of food, a laundry service, clean beds, a place to be safe and they were Christian like his momma. They had a devotional start to every day and he could go to Bible studies several times a week. He could talk to staff members when he was sad, or had a problem he couldn’t solve; and the staff connected him with social service agencies who knew how to get him assisted housing, and could help him manage his money, and even find employment he could cope with. Thanks to the kind people who support The Refuge of Hope, Steve now lives in his own place!
Almost half of the residents of The Refuge of Hope have similar variations to this story. This is not surprising: The National Alliance for The mentally Ill (NAMI) has clear research that shows one out of five families in America has a family member with a serious mental illness. Two out of every 100 young adults will be affected by a serious brain disease between the ages of 18 and 30. Some serious cases qualify for state care, but most are on their own; some families can’t cope with them, and these people are destined to wonder the streets trying to escape the pain of life until they either die, or find help. Please help us help them. Sponsor a bed, a day, a meal, a bus pass… anything you provide is a gift of love and hope.