It’s been a long road…

It's been a long road

2024 February #1
By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)

When we start something new, it’s usually at that point that we make changes. That’s why it’s called “new.” It’s different from before. 

The beginning of a new year is a good time to think about the kind of changes that might benefit the direction of the coming days. Being stagnant is not usually helpful. At times, we all need some positive alterations to “the daily grind” of our lives.

For example, when a loved one is unexpectedly taken, or a job is suddenly removed, or a health diagnosis has hard consequences, it’s deeply troubling and can cause major changes to the way someone thinks or acts. It’s a totally  natural thing to experience…and that’s how some people wind up homeless. They simply can’t make themselves get up and move toward a better situation. 

During times like this, we want to let those who’ve lost the security of a home know that we care and have services that can help.  The fact that they are homeless is a huge change in their life. But, knowing that there are options to turn to, can be another major change that could guide them to a better future.

Many of our guests find relief and peace of mind once they finally decide to come to our campus for help.

It’s been a long road…

said Marvin (not his real name).  Here’s his story:

Before coming to Joy Junction’s shelter, I had tried living on the street and staying in other shelters. I tried everything I could to make a success out of being on my own, with no help. It was rough, depressing, and dangerous on the street – and the shelters just didn’t work for me. But, I couldn’t seem to get it together enough to get a job, and keep a job. For years, homelessness seemed to be my lot in life.

Then, one day, after a week of misery on the street, a family member contacted me and said they had heard about Joy Junction on the tv and wondered if I would be interested in trying a shelter that was faith-based. I was definitely interested, so I agreed to try it. I knew I needed help.

That family member picked me up and brought me here. I joined the Christ in Power Program right away. I was raised believing in Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, so it was very comforting to have the Bible back in my life. I had left it far behind. But now, I found I had a hunger to read it more frequently and diligently. Over time, little by little, I began to understand that I had been focusing on and relying on myself instead of God.

I began to feel like I was here to be of service to others. I enjoyed praying for other people. When I encouraged them, it encouraged ME.

Strengthening my relationship with Jesus has caused a huge turn-around in my life. It’s been a long road, but I feel so much better about myself and my future.

It warms our hearts to know that we can make a difference in the lives of people like Marvin who come to us for help

The new year has begun and we are working hard to continue our mission of caring for those who have lost so much. The start to their new year may be different than what they expected. The day-to-day events in the lives of our guests have changed from what they were used to. That’s a rough place to be in. 

But, they did choose to seek help, and we are blessed to be that help for them. 

It takes a courageous person to admit they need assistance from someone else. We are here to lend a helping hand and lift their spirits. 

Together, we can all make a difference when it comes to putting forth an effort to help break the cycle of hunger and homelessness. Let’s team up and try to make a change in our city.

Please join us as we work to give a hand up, not a hand out, to those who are trying to turn their lives around.