Jagged Transformation Pathway
Ashley McDonald’s Story
“My path to homelessness began when I lost my job in January 2012. I was evicted from my apartment and resided with different men and family members. In the midst of all that, I found out I was pregnant with my second child. I came to Atlanta in April 2013 with nowhere to go. I happen[ed] to hear about Family Promise Interfaith church and got accepted into the program. In that 90 day program I got a job but had to quit due to childcare reasons. I came went to Salvation Army and was doing well, I then got pregnant with my third child.”
At City of Refuge, we encounter people from all areas of the country and from all different walks of life. Regardless of who they are, our goal is transformation. Through housing programs like Eden Village, City of Refuge provides housing, food, and life changing programs. However, our goal isn’t to provide handouts! Instead, we offer effective solutions to assist and empower the residents in becoming fully self sufficient. The road to transformation isn’t always linear and sometimes features setbacks. If our case managers detect the resident isn’t up or down for the task, we are forced offer our limited to services to those who willing to put forth the effort.
“I came to City of Refuge in January 2014. I was 2 months pregnant. I was eventually discharged four months later due to ‘lack of progress’.”
In any case, the transformation pathway isn’t always journeyed successfully by those who need it. Instead, the people who benefit the most are those who persevere, put for the required effort, and desperately want it. Since we serve a God of second chances, we are always willing to learn from our mistakes and give others a second try.
“So I went to Taskforce for the Homeless, and was given a second chance to come back to City of Refuge. I got with a caseworker at Mercy Care and she told me about a housing program for people dealing with mental illness. I have a bipolar disorder along with other things. I started the intake process and received a voucher six months later. I’m very grateful for this journey. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my faith has strengthened for the better.”
Our rigorous and effective programming requires effort and perseverance. When these two effectively collide at City of Refuge, the results are miraculous transformations.