Jerry grew up an hour from New Orleans. As a young adult and member of the Navy, he moved to Texas with his wife and started a family. They lived a quintessentially American life with a good-paying job, owned a house, and married with a few kids. Life was good!
Until it wasn’t.
Jerry moved to Columbia for a better-paying job to create a nest egg for his growing family. Though leaving his family was tough, he knew it was best for them. Upon arrival in Columbia, he had more trouble than he thought finding housing. He lived out of his car for a few weeks until his wife recommended that he stay at Oliver Gospel Mission until something else became available. He describes finding Oliver Gospel as an “oasis”. He was able to get a good nights’ rest, meals, and a community of like-minded men during his time with us. He still keeps in touch with staff and men he met here.
Seven years later, Jerry is still working the same job, with his family now close by. He loves his job and is thankful that Oliver Gospel came at the right time to make sure he didn’t lose it.
When asked to describe Oliver Gospel in one word, he chooses “purposeful.” He says we live our purpose intentionally. Jerry’s story is not unique. Many of our guests seek jobs in places far from their families to provide for the present and future. When they arrive and face hardship, those jobs can quickly be rescinded, leaving them homeless and hopeless.
Oliver Gospel is here for anyone that might find themselves with a stable job but no housing. This is one of the many ways Oliver Gospel helps prevent situational homelessness for many.