Calm after the storm: A Father’s Story

This Father’s Day will be an emotional one for fathers like Matthew, a current recipient of City Rescue Mission’s Emergency Services Programs. Traditionally, the New Life Inn serves as the front door of CRM’s LifeBuilders Program and offers food and nightly shelter to single men and women, as well as women with children. Matthew and his family of four have been calling CRM their temporary home. Matthew and his wife have two children, a six year-old boy and a four year-old girl. Matthew and his family are originally from the corn fields of Ohio and recently left everything behind to start a new life here in Jacksonville. Matthew was offered a job that would have positioned his family to be in a much better financial situation. The day before the big move, Matthew and his son were in a terrible car accident that left their only car totaled. Fortunately, after rolling the car several times, they were able to walk away from the scene without a bruise or scratch. This setback was followed by many more, but despite the obstacles to get to Jacksonville, his employer promised his job was still available and waiting for him. Upon arriving to Jacksonville, Matthew discovered that this was quite the opposite. The job had been filled and there were no signs of employment with this company. Confident that things would work out for him and his family, they remained in the area where they lived off their 2015 tax returns. After a month, they had run out of money, had no place to live, and still had no job. Ending up circumstantially homeless, Matthew and his family turned to City Rescue Mission for help. They were greeted by City Rescue Mission’s Emergency Service Manager, Jaime Davis. “All guests who need more than a few nights of shelter agree to receive case management. Our first step is to identify their goals, needs, and resources, followed by creating a plan to meet those goals, which can include finding employment,” stated Jaime Davis. Each day, Matthew and his family are given a refreshing shower, a nourishing meal, a safe and comfortable place to sleep at night, followed by a clean pair of clothes the next morning. Each night, the family attends one of the chapel services offered at CRM. “Not only have I been able to receive help physically, I have been able to refocus on my relationship with God too,” according to Matthew. This is the same for all single men and women, and women with children who use Emergency Services Programs at City Rescue Mission.

Matthew described last year’s Father’s Day and recalled how he was the provider for his family. This year, God the Father has become the provider. “This Father’s Day, I have learned to appreciate my heavenly Father for all that he has provided, despite the storm. I am especially thankful to City Rescue Mission for demonstrating true authentic love, and compassion of Jesus Christ, and teaching me to find the peace to be calm in and after these storms.”

“Thanks to contributions and support from CRM’s donors, we are able to provide more than just a meal and a safe place to sleep, but hope for the hopeless, rest for the weary, clothes for the naked, and healing for the broken and addicted through our Emergency Services Programs,” said Penny Kievet, Executive Director for the City Rescue Mission. For Matthew, it is a chance to spend Father’s Day with his children, not worrying about where they will sleep, or where they will get their next meal.

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