She was a hard worker in the fast-food industry, management being her area of expertise. She was quite the spitfire, going a hundred miles a minute, providing for her family, and making a name for herself in her small hometown back in Texas. After her children, who were old enough to make their own decisions, had decided to stay with their father, Ann struggled in her career and found herself unemployed. She was able to piece some things together and made it work for a short time, but ultimately, she lost her home and ended up on the streets. That wasn’t her biggest problem, however.
She was growing accustomed to a recurring bout with acute bronchitis. It had been going on for years, but she was able to manage her symptoms, that is, until she found herself homeless. The months she spent during the cold winter months with minimal shelter was wreaking havoc on her lungs. She did her best to ignore the worsening condition, but after a year of life on the streets, the damage had been done. She went into a fit of breathing trouble, unable to catch her breath, and she finally called for an ambulance. When she was finally admitted to the hospital, she was in complete respiratory failure. Her manageable acute bronchitis had now developed into chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She was devastated.
Over the next 2 months she had made nearly 50 trips to the ER, and lack of medication due to her limited financial resources, made the COPD that much worse. Luckily, her grown daughter who was living in Oklahoma, offered her a lifeline and invited her to come stay with her, her future son-in-law, and brand new grandbaby. Ann was overjoyed! She packed up what she had left and made her way to Oklahoma.
Everything was not sunshine and daisies though. She discovered that her future-son-in-law and her did not see eye-to-eye on a lot of matters, and she quickly realized that her presence there was just making things worse for her daughter and her new family. Ann knew that with her COPD, living on the streets was not an option, but with no way to get back to Texas, and no one else to help her here, she had to do something. She learned about Gospel Rescue Mission and chose to come to us for help.
Ann’s COPD is very noticeable causing strained and labored breathing and limiting her ability to get around. That hasn’t slowed her down much though. On our Hospitality Work Start tract, she is excelling while learning new skills in office administration; something she feels confident she could do even with her health condition. While Ann is working toward getting disability benefits, she is also preparing herself just in case things don’t go as planned. While she is unable to work full-time, she is working towards finding part-time employment in hospitality or office management or administration.
It’s the resilience of our guests that is so admirable. Despite the most challenging of circumstances, our guests can overcome. It is such a privilege to see God moving through the lives of our men and women, bringing hope to the most hopeless feeling situations. Thank you for helping to support these amazing stories!