Russ’s Money Saving Story

June 10, 2024

Read About It:  The Money Savings Program: Laying the Groundwork for a Brighter Future

“When I Was Sick” – A Father Finds a Way to Be Near His Hospitalized Daughter

“When you’re at the Mission, and you start working while you’re there, they really bend over backwards to help you—even more than they already do [by providing a bed and meals.] They even sent me on my way to my new job with a bag full of food so that I wouldn’t be hungry out there!” – Russ T.

Russ, a 26-year-old divorced dad  found himself in a real bind–the kind no parent would want to be in. After his six-year-old daughter got hospitalized in Chico with a serious illness, he needed to be near her while she was in the pediatric care unit.  The problem was, he was living in Oregon at the time. While he was gainfully employed, he had also acquired a lot of debt after his divorce.  Yet, providing for his daughter had always been his priority. He never wanted to be one of those “deadbeat dads.” But he also didn’t want to be one of those absent dads, a situation he had always wanted  to remedy, and which now had become a matter of extreme urgency. The problem was, he didn’t have the funds to go and be near his daughter. So, he contacted the Mission, hoping they could help.

They did. But they did much more than help him solve his most immediate crisis.  They also helped him re-establish himself in the area so that he could be the kind of dad he had always wanted to be to his young daughter.  After landing a job in private security, Russ now had the steady income, but what he needed was a way to save and manage his money so he could find a permanent place to live in Redding. The Mission’s Money Savings Program (MSP) provided the solution.

“They have this formula that’s built to help you reground yourself financially,” says Russ. “So that way, when you leave the the Mission, your probability of returning there is a lot less because you’re not leaving with just enough money for an apartment or a rented room, yet nothing beyond that. You could be without enough money to make it through the next month, which could really set you back. Really, it’s amazing how much they care about seeing you succeed!”

Just as amazing, says Russ, are the “little things.” For him, that meant the provision of bagged lunches and a separate dorm consisting of around 14 beds where those who are working can sleep without interruption. This kind of practical help, along with daily chapel services that helped sustain him spiritually while his daughter was in the hospital, meant everything.

Russ’s story is a great example of how the Mission helps to give a hand up vs. a handout. You always want to reward those who are making a sincere effort to get their life back on track, while also helping them to keep on moving down that track towards a destination or goal. In Russ’s case, that goal was to be the best dad possible to his daughter. And that’s the best goal of all.

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