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Homelessness at Thanksgiving

Finding oneself out of options and resources for life, and facing homelessness at Thanksgiving is a daunting thought for us to imagine. And yet, around 50,000 people in Houston have experienced this life tragedy in just the last 12 months.

Here at Star of Hope, we see miracles every day in the lives of people who come for help. Not just a few, but thousands who come our way each year find a new faith and a new hope, and with that… healing, forgiveness and a new direction for their lives!

This past Thursday, at our Graduation Ceremony at Star of Hope’s Transitional Living Center (TLC), I heard a graduate’s story I’d like to share with you. She came first to our Women & Family Emergency Shelter downtown for shelter and safety and was led to our Transitional Living Center, where she has been for the past 9 months. She had faced a life of fear, and had difficulty facing daily challenges. Through much of her 20’s and 30’s she faced isolation, feelings of emptiness, and frequently turned to destructive behaviors. But it was the sudden, unexpected death of her mother that slowly drained her of any inner strength to cope with her fragile emotions.

Things began to change for her once she entered TLC. She completed the New Hope addiction recovery program, which gave her “a new hope, and a belief that in this second effort, I can recover.” She then attended our Personal Development program, which opened many doors for her. She received one on one counseling to help her cope with her mother’s death, and build essential life and job skills for a new tomorrow.

Through Star of Hope’s partnership with The WorkFaith Connection, a Christian job search program, she learned important skills and prepared for the workplace once again. Many doors were opened for her, but as she stated: “The most important door that has opened, is the one to my heart—I have opened myself to the light and love of God for the first time in my 38 years. I have realized that today in my life, I welcome change, and that is nothing less than a miracle.” She further told us that through her AA classes and her church, she is gaining “a new love and appreciation for all my blessings from God.”

Today her relationship with her three daughters is thriving, and she has true friends who appreciate her for who she is, not for what she can give them. She is thankful for the staff at the Star of Hope’s TLC. As she said: “I am surrounded by strong Christian role models, who, through prayer, Bible study and discussion, are showing me a new way to live.” She thanks the staff for starting every day in prayer and thanksgiving…for much needed help on her computer skills…for help realizing that she is a kind and intelligent person, and for guidance on her journey of recovery.

This Thanksgiving all of us at Star of Hope say “Thank You” for your gifts of time and resources, and most importantly for your prayers for all those in our care. May you and yours enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving!

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