Dionne found her way to Cherry Street after a diagnosis took away the purpose she’d known all her life.

Dionne grew up in a working family and learned to play her part contributing to the family income. From her teenage years through adulthood, she worked multiple jobs to earn her keep and sustain a life she enjoyed.  She liked to work. She enjoyed the hustle and productive hours spent making a life of her own.

After years of dedicated hard work, something began to feel off in her body. Something was not right.

Dionne visited the doctor’s office and was ultimately diagnosed with a crippling disease. Her physician recommended that she stop working and rest. Faced with the decision to continue working to the detriment of her health or be jobless for the first time in nearly 40 years, she thought of her grandkids and submitted her two weeks resignation.

She had a plan and began to adjust to her different life. One mostly spent with quiet days and visits from family. But as plans often do, things soon fell apart. Her safety nets dissolved and she got stuck in lengthy civil rights cases, leaving her awaiting for answers and resolutions. In all this pain, she wandered into situations and habits that she could hardly bring herself to mention. When she showed up to Cherry Street, the hurt in her eyes was deep and dark. Distance, distrust, and despair had wrapped their arms around her life.  But as she looks back now, she can see the faithfulness of God present through the darkest moments.

Many months later, though still stuck in legal battles to restore health and home, Dionne is a different person than when she first walked through our doors. After getting connected to mental health professionals and finding a sense of belonging, she is now full of joy, sometimes found singing and laughing on her way into the Mac Street Café. She reflects on how her lifelong relationship with God has looked different over time, but that she has found the promised peace of a life walking in faith.

Dionne eventually moved out of Cherry Street, into her own home where she continues to crochet and knit, has her favorite foods in the fridge and fills her time with visits from family.  She still faces daily battles to keep herself healthy and sustain her purpose in life.  We pray that Dionne will not have to walk back through the doors at Cherry Street again.  But if she does, we’ll be here to help.

This is what support from our donors accomplishes. It is so much more than Dionne finding a home- it means providing the opportunity to find oneself and the peace of God. It means getting connected to the right professionals to bring about health and stability. Without a safe harbor for Dionne in her darkest moments and a supportive team to help her lift her head, there would be no laughing and singing bursting from her heart, perhaps only heartache. Your generosity makes life change happen in your community, helping the hopeless find hope, and those who are hungry for change find more than they might ask or imagine.