Being responsible is hardly ever the “easy” thing to do. Just ask Khadejah. She works two jobs, takes computer classes, and is a single SUPER mom. So how did such a responsible and driven young woman find herself at the Gospel Rescue Mission?
Things were going ok for her here in Muskogee, but the lure of bright lights, big city life, and most importantly, better job opportunities were calling her name. Khadejah was working 2 jobs trying to make ends meet, and despite her best efforts, couldn’t seem to land a job that paid enough that she could give up her second job. Then one day her cousin called with an offer she couldn’t refuse.
“Come live with me,” he said. “You’ll love Arizona! There’s so much to do here, and so many great jobs. Plus, I’ll even help take care of you and the baby until you can get on your feet.” After much deliberation, she was sold! With excitement in her eyes and Oklahoma in her rear view mirror, her and her son were off to greener pastures, or so she thought. What she ended up finding was dry and arid desert, and we’re not talking about just the scenery.
The job market was diverse, true. But after 8 interviews in one week, and not one job offer, she was starting to see that the candidate pool was just too big for her limited resume to make an impact on employers. After 4 months of struggling, she started to see that the “easy life” wasn’t going to be here, so her grandpa offered to pay her way back to Oklahoma and for her to come stay with him till she could get on her feet. Done deal!
She got a part-time job for an auto parts store in town and also went back to work part-time for the job she had left to move to Arizona. She was back to working two jobs again. After a couple months though, her mom offered to let Khadejah and her son stay with her instead. However, they lost everything they owned in a tragic fire in their apartment complex that nearly claimed the life of a little girl. She could’ve followed her mother to stay with other relatives, but things were starting to get tense between them. So, for the sake of their relationship, she decided to check in to the Gospel Rescue Mission instead. It was a tough choice to make, but she knew it was the responsible thing for her to do.
Speaking of responsibility, she knew her car was holding her back from getting ahead. She had been maintaining the payments, but she knew that in order to climb out of poverty, she needed to get rid of the payments entirely. It was a touch decision, but for her son, she would do anything to ensure they had a good life. So, she let the newer nicer car go back, and instead, bought a sensible car outright with cash. No payments! Things were already looking up! And the good fruits kept rolling in with a new full-time job to replace one of her part-time jobs.
Although she is still working 2 jobs, her income has increased, her payments have decreased, and things are really starting to move in the right direction for Khadejah. She has hopes of owning her own cleaning business someday. “I’m just taking every opportunity I can and see where it gets me,” she says. “It’s all in God’s favor. It’s whatever He plans.” She continues to save her money so that when she is ready to move out, she will have enough for all of her deposits, rent, plus she will have plenty of money in savings.
Being here has been life changing for Khadejah. “This place helped me to step up more and try a little harder. They really do believe in me.” Our mission at GRM is to partner with the community to serve those who are in crisis to restore them to freedom and purpose through the transforming power of the gospel. We want to see people not just “get by” but get ahead, and we are seeing this happen in Khadejah’s life each day she is here. It’s not easy to choose the path that will get you ahead, especially when it means taking your son and living in a homeless facility. But in order to break the cycle of poverty that is threatening to keep her down, she’s making the responsible choice to be here.
For more about the causes of poverty, check out our GRM White papers at http://grmmuskogee.org/grm-white-papers/ and, Executive Director, Rich Schaus’s blog on The Quest to End Poverty in America at http://grmmuskogee.org/category/quest-to-end-poverty-in-america/.