Julia’s family went through a nightmare of separation and uncertainty. But now, thanks to you, they’re reunited and safe.
A single mother of four children, Julia, was struggling mightily in Georgia. A divorce brought the family to the brink of financial ruin. But Julia was able to pick up the pieces and start rebuilding their lives.
Then COVID-19 hit. “Everything was shut down for weeks — months, in some cases,” she says. “Other businesses didn’t reopen at all.” Sadly, for this battered family, the pandemic was just Act One in her nightmare.
First, her landlord was forced to sell the home Julia rented. Just three days later, the restaurant she worked at closed. With very limited resources to fall back on, Julia had few options. While in Florida on a brief trip, her boyfriend was arrested, setting into motion a lengthy legal battle that ended with Julia losing custody of her children. Her world came crashing down.
SETBACKS, FRUSTRATION, PAIN
Julia worked for months to get her children back. It was a daily, stressful fight against a system characterized by apathy and red tape.
A reason to hope
Because she had to reside in the county where her children were in foster care, Julia was forced to move from Georgia to the Tampa Bay area. She managed to find work but had to sleep in her car for nearly a year in order to save money. Those months were agonizing, filled with setbacks, frustration, and stress.
Then came the miracle that changed everything.
“PRAYED AND BEGGED”
Julia heard about Metropolitan Ministries — what we offer, how we help, and why so many families have found a fresh start through our programs and services. And that changed everything.
Julia applied for acceptance, hoping to find the help she needed to get her life back on track.
“I prayed and begged God to see me through so I wouldn’t fail Him or my kids,” she says. When we called to confirm that we had a place for her, Julia says her heart was beating so loudly she could hardly even hear her own thoughts.
She told us, “After almost a year of sleeping in my car, I finally had a bed to sleep in and a shower. I could wash clothes and didn’t have to spend all my money on take-out food and gas for the car.”
What’s more, Julia says, she no longer had to sleep with one eye open for fear that someone would rob her or steal her car. (Both of those happened.) “For the first time since the day my kids were taken away from me,” says Julia, “I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
“HOPE WHEN I WAS HOPELESS”
At Metro, Julia found the hand up she so desperately needed. “Metro gave me hope when I was hopeless,” she says. “They gave me a place to sleep, food to eat, clothes to wear, and they went above and beyond for my children at Christmas.”
Today, after more than a year of separation, Julia is reunited with her children. Thanks to the shelter and support you have provided through your generosity, they have a home together, Julia is gainfully employed, and the family is working to heal their wounds as they regain their stability and self-sufficiency.
Says Julia, “I am so very blessed to have been given the opportunity to call Metropolitan Ministries my home for a time. I cannot even find the right words to express how much everything they did means to me. When I was at my lowest, darkest point in life, when I had nowhere to go and no one to turn to, they were there.”
If not for Metro’s help, I wouldn’t have my children home and would still be struggling every day, sleeping in my car. — Julia
Today, you have the opportunity to help even more struggling families like Julia’s heal, solve their problems, and rebuild for the future. Please give generously. Thank you!