So many of us are blessed to have friends or family we can depend on in emergencies! We are blessed to have people who will help us out when the going gets rough.
Bernardino lived with a friend in Stroudsburg, helping out with rent and utilities while he worked in construction. When the project he was working on ended, he continued to share his unemployment benefits until the friend decided to move to California.
Bernardino’s sister was his next lifeline. But when she and her children moved into a smaller house, there was no room for an extra family member.
Bernardino might still have been OK if he had been able to find another job, or if his unemployment benefits hadn’t run out. Instead, he became homeless. Fearing life on the streets, Bernardino began “hanging out” at a local hospital.
“I was trying to find shelter,” he said. “When they realized my situation, one of the nurses looked up shelters and that’s how I came to learn about the Allentown Rescue Mission.”
“The Lord blessed me!”
Hospital staff not only found Bernardino a place where he could stay, they also provided the bus ticket that enabled him to get here!
Once he was settled in our Gateway Center emergency shelter, Bernardino says he found the staff members to be “nice, and honest and helpful in every way.”
The welcome he felt from our staff encouraged him to join our long-term Christian Living and Values Transitional Program.
“I learned about the program and told them I was interested. I really wanted to learn more about God.”
In addition to chapel and Bible study, Bernardino took part in money management and budgeting classes to help him live a responsible, debt free life when he leaves the Mission.
There was also résumé writing, basic computer skills and interview techniques – all tools that will help him find and keep a new job.
Bernardino would love to find work in maintenance, perhaps at a nursing home. But until then he’s hopeful for the future, using the skills he’s learned at the Mission.
To read the rest of the issue of Tidings, click here