[This is a very lightly edited transcript of a recent video interview with our guest, Charles. Rather than our telling his story, we thought you would like to hear directly from him. – ed.]
Hi, my name is Charles. I am 63. I ended up in Philadelphia because I was with the Department of Aging in another county, they didn’t know what to do with me. They sent me here on September 29th and I ended up in the hospital from September to October the 8th. I came here on October the 9th at the Sunday Breakfast Mission, and I have been loved ever since. They have helped me in many ways to make sure I got my doctor’s appointment, to make sure I have clean clothes. I just feel so much love here at the Sunday Breakfast Ministries.
The staff is wonderful. The people in charge are so wonderful. They embrace you as part of a family. It’s not like other missions. Here, it’s different. They treat you as a human. They work with you, they try to help you where you might get a job, find a home. Like with me, they’re fighting for me to get into a placement because of my health conditions. And I am so blessed that my wife who I love dearly, that she’s not with me here physically. She’s in a nursing home, but we talk. She’s proud of me because I’ve lost a lot of weight. And it’s due to encouragement that I’ve received here, the love and support that I’ve never had from a real family. This is now my real family, and I love each and every one that’s here.
And the best thing is, they don’t yell at you; they ask you; they talk to you, they treat you as a human, not as a number or the statistics. They treat you with respect. And the biggest thing is, the counsellors and everybody just embraces you and treats you good. And the best thing about all this is God put me here because if I wouldn’t have ended up here, I would probably die because my health was that bad before I got here to the Mission. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was taking care of my wife. I was letting my health go to make sure she survived. And I’ve been homeless before but never have been treated the way I’ve had. I have three square meals a day, I have bed, I get a shower. It’s also good here.
[Thank you, Charles, for sharing your story. – ed.]