Updated: Jul 1
Shane grew up in Orangeburg, South Carolina, with a close-knit family that taught him to pray and follow God. However, his family held him to high expectations with little grace for shortcomings. Because of this, relationships with his family have been strained over the past few years. They accused him of making poor decisions and being lazy, leaving Shane feeling crushed and abandoned. He loves his family and being pushed away by them was heartbreaking.
Soon after the pandemic hit, Shane found himself unemployed, couch-hopping around town. Before coming to Columbia, he was living with an elderly friend in Orangeburg. When she moved to Texas in mid-2021, she connected him with Oliver Gospel to have a safe and welcoming place to live. Shane recalls his first few days at Oliver Gospel, saying, “It’s world-changing for you because it helps you get a foundation of what’s going on and what you’re doing. It helps you to see what it’s like to not be homeless again.”
Shane started out in our Refresh program, which provides nightly shelter for men experiencing homelessness for up to 30 days. Shortly after his first few nights, he realized that his mental health declined from the pain and hardship of his estranged family and unemployment.
For the first time, he was able to focus on himself after years of worrying about where he would sleep for the night.
Through Oliver Gospel, he was connected to Prisma Health, where he received mental health counseling and medication and started to feel like himself again.
Once he stabilized his mental health and got a job, Shane started the six-month Rebuild program at Oliver Gospel. In Rebuild, he has remained healthy and stays in our transitional housing while saving money for permanent housing. He continues to reach out to his family and prays that he will see renewal in those relationships as he begins this healthier and more stable chapter of his life.