People come to LSS Faith Mission at different stages in their lives and for different reasons. Each person’s story is unique. We strive to meet our clients where they are in life and serve them as individuals so that they can better their lives. Here are some of those unique stories.
Reuban, 62, came to LSS Faith Mission after a fire destroyed his apartment. “With all the resources Faith Mission has, I thought it was a good place to start,” he said. Reuban said that the Faith Mission staff has been incredibly supportive, helping him with his housing search and with obtaining identification documents. Active in his community and a mentor to children in his neighborhood, Reuban looks at his time at Faith Mission as a learning experience that he can use to help others. “What I learn here, I can take back to them,” he said. “What I’m learning through Faith Mission, helps me to try to help somebody else.”
A debilitating medical condition left Rebecca permanently disabled at 35. More health issues and other problems followed such as medical debt, a failed marriage, and alcoholism. Rebecca, who is now 56, was in the hospital, when her roommate totaled her car and they were evicted from their apartment. With no place to recuperate, the hospital connected her to Medical Respite at Faith Mission.
“I never dreamed I would be here,” Rebecca said. “When I arrived, I only had one pair of pants and two shirts.” From Medical Respite, Rebecca connected with many more services at LSS Faith Mission. The Health Center provided medical and vision care, prescriptions, and support for her continuing sobriety. Other Faith Mission staff has helped her obtain replacement identification and other important documents that were lost in her eviction and after her wallet was stolen. They are also helping her find permanent housing and with basic items such as clothing.
“I just felt lost when I first arrived, and now I feel like a totally different person,” said Rebecca. “I would never have dreamed that I would met so many nice people here that are willing to assist you as much as they possibly can. I know my health will never be perfect again, but they’re giving me directions to think about different things, how I can manage my life and still function with the illnesses that I have. I’ve made goals, and hopefully I will reach those goals, and I will be back out on my own again.”
Despite coming from what appeared to be a stable, upper middle-class home, Andrew started drinking and using drugs at 16 as a coping mechanism for feelings of shame and inadequacy. Through the years the alcohol and drug use became more extreme, leading to brushes with the law, a series of job losses, and cycles of homelessness.
Now 59, Andrew is at LSS Faith Mission again, but this time feels different. “I feel more positive now about being able to continue to make my life better, and not slip back into [old habits],” he said. While the Faith Mission staff is helping Andrew find permanent housing, the Resource Center has already assisted him with finding a steady job. While these two things are important, Andrew thinks the critical difference this time is the counseling and support he is receiving for his sobriety and mental health issues.
“Faith Mission is giving me a chance to make my life better, given me my life back really,” Andrew said. “I mean, being out there using is not living, it’s just existing, it’s not living. This has given me the chance to make myself a life, a meaningful life, not just that existence.”
Tom’s last dental experience had not gone well, so consequently it had been ten years since he had last had his teeth examined. Like many of our patients, extreme pain is what brought Tom to our dental clinic. He thought one tooth needed to be extracted. However, after a thorough examination, our dentist found two abbesses and determined two teeth needed to be removed, which he was able to do during this single appointment. As the result of a stroke, Tom is partially paralyzed and uses a wheelchair. Despite his disability, our dental clinic had no problem assisting Tom and we were even able to help him arrange transportation to and from our clinic through our local bus system’s paratransit service. As Tom was leaving the clinic, he told the staff that the care he received exceeded his expectations and thanked them so profusely that he kept dropping his ice pack.
Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio is a United Way agency, a member of Lutheran Services in America and a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
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