Here at Home Sweet Home, we believe that everyone has a story. Watch the video to hear from these voices of hope.
Maureen, a former resident of Home Sweet Home and an active volunteer, shares her story of hope.
My husband passed away unexpectedly, and the next seven years were very difficult. I was not staying in my support groups and my relationship with God began to suffer. I was angry with God and did not feel like He was there for me. As a result, I started making bad decisions, but I didn’t really realize they were bad decisions at the time.
My son was at school here in Bloomington, and he connected me with Home Sweet Home Ministries. When I came here, I had only the clothes on my back. Home Sweet Home got me clothes and gave me a hot meal. They helped me find the resources that I needed. My case manager would follow up with me on everything, and genuinely cared about me. You can tell that for everyone who works here, this isn’t just their “job”, they truly care about everyone who walks through the doors. The devotions every morning really helped me and challenged me in my relationship with God. There are so many classes to help you build yourself up.
I didn’t think that I had any artistic talent, but I went to an art class and painted a sunset. It was beautiful! I didn’t realize I had that in me. It helped me build my confidence back up. I was able to give my painting to my children, which just meant the world to me. God was helping me and opening doors for me.
What happened to me, can happen to anyone. When I first came here, I was scared. But as I got to know the other residents, I realized so many of them were educated, came from a good home, but circumstances in life led them to being here. I made so many lifelong friends while I was here, and while we all have different stories, we identified with one another. Everything in my life has turned around and I do feel like I have a bright future now and big appreciation for life and for family, for true friends and for everyone who helped me along the way. God was with me when I found this place. And when I moved out, I felt like I could be a whole person again. I could see God’s hand in my life. I know I could not have gotten myself together without the support of Home Sweet Home Ministries.
"I was proud to serve my country, but my experience as a solider has left me wounded physically, mentally and spiritually. I needed to find a place to heal from my health issues and to get back on my feet. Home Sweet Home is an amazing place where God is easily accessible and a springboard back to "real" life. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! God Blesses Home Sweet Home!"
As part of our work service program, James was assigned to be an assistant in our facilities department and he remembered that he had something of value to contribute-himself. He also learned that he had the ability to change his life. With help from his case manager, he then found outside employment and housing. James' life is now filled with new possibilities.
It is our vision at Home Sweet Home to be a ministry of refuge and renewal powered by Jesus Christ.
Each day we restore hope to our residents, encouraging them towards successful paths in life. Learning to walk a new path takes time and devotion. Take it from one of our former residents, Brian, a veteran who stayed at Home Sweet Home for seven months.
“When I got here it was December and we had some below zero temperatures. I could have been out there freezing to death,” says Brian.
When he came here, Brian was at rock bottom, hopeless. Brian was dealing with a divorce, leading him into depression which ultimately cost him his job and his apartment. Brian felt alone, with no one to talk to.
“You think you’re a number when you come in but as time went on you figured out that you’re not just a number you’re actually somebody that people care about.”
Having a special room for veterans was his first step towards a new, brighter path.
“So it was wonderful to have a place to go and some sort of privacy to start off with,” adds Brian.
Brian’s faith was restored through devotions, counseling, job life training, and Faith and Finances classes. “You get out of it what you put into it. And that’s what we did, we just kept plugging along all that time and finally things happened.”
He utilized our services here to turn his life around. “Everyone is fragile, they just don’t realize it how fragile they can be. They start to help you put the pieces back together.”
Brian now has an apartment, a job, and confidence in himself that didn’t exist seven months ago.
“It’s given me hope again,” says Brian.
He hopes to serve as an inspiration to others that no matter your situation, if you choose to change, it can happen here at Home Sweet Home.
Brian loves his new job and the path he is on now. He knows obstacles still lie ahead, but now has a more optimistic approach.
“Just basically live day by day and keep myself together. Making it. This place has been a Godsend,” praises Brian.
Be joyful in HOPE, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayerRomans 12:12