Sharon came from Mississippi to Mankato for a temporary visit to care for her daughter and grandson after her daughter’s C-section. During that visit, Sharon received the devastating news that the house she shared with her fiancé, James, had been destroyed by fire, along with everything in it.
She decided to seek out shelter in Mankato so she could remain close to her daughter and new grandson. She heard about the Theresa House and came to apply for temporary shelter while she and James – who would eventually join her in Mankato – could get back on their feet. As a Certified Nurse’s Aide (CNA), Sharon was able to find work quickly, but the housing situation was a lot more difficult to tackle. Additionally, James had crippling knee pain and was unable to drive.
“I was so devastated and depressed, crying all the time. I had nothing left except the clothes in my small suitcase,” she explained, “and James didn’t even have a suitcase of clothes.”
Sharon went on to say that, in working with the shelter manager and staff, each day got better than the one before. P4H staff helped the couple get clothing, lined up transportation so they could get to their jobs, and helped them with the process of finding housing they could afford. Sharon started to have hope about her future, and when the day came for her and James to move out, she was sad to be leaving.
“I am truly, truly grateful and appreciative for all they did to help us. Even though you know that it’s a shelter, it feels like a home when you’re there,” Sharon continued. “It was so comfortable and the people who worked there were kind and supportive. It was a truly beautiful experience.”
Since their move-out in 2019, Sharon stops by the shelter regularly to check in and let staff know how she and James are doing, and to find out how the shelter team is doing as well.
When we asked Sharon about her plans for the future, she shared that she is feeling well-settled in the community and loves coming home to her apartment. She would like to scale back on the CNA duties and find work that is not as physically demanding.
She wanted to share some encouraging words to others who find themselves facing homelessness. “Keep your head up, put in the work it takes and you will be successful. Just keep pressing on, and trust God to get you through it.”