“There are no words to explain what Wayne Hall means to me. I say this because during my time at Wayne Hall, I gained more than just a place to stay: I found another family and a lifetime full of skills,” expressed Myisha as she reflects on her time in the Wayne Hall program.
Myisha, a Philadelphia native, graduated from Sunday Breakfast’s women’s transitional home, Wayne Hall this spring. Growing up Myisha was incredibly close with her family, particularly her twin sister. “We were like two peas in a pod, we couldn’t get any closer.” Myisha reminisces, “We did almost everything together.” Myisha and her sister lived together until they turned twenty-one and each moved into her own homes.
Before she joined Wayne Hall, Myisha enjoyed spending time with her friends. She describes herself as an outgoing person who chose a party lifestyle instead of saving money or spending time with her four-year-old daughter. When faced with financial difficulty, Myisha did not have any savings to fall back on and was evicted from her apartment.
With nowhere to call home, Myisha remembered attending a graduation at Wayne Hall for her close friend, Alisha. Alisha spoke so highly of her time at Wayne Hall that Myisha decided to follow Alisha’s example and join the program. Myisha was determined to change her life for her daughter.
Myisha never thought she would live in a homeless shelter and found the transition to Wayne Hall difficult. Myisha missed her freedom but came to find the value in structure. As Myisha continued her stay at Wayne Hall, she discovered the staff at Wayne Hall loved her deeply.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck and Myisha’s life was changed in one night. In February, Myisha witnessed her twin sister’s murder. In the hospital while receiving treatment for her own injuries, Myisha felt distraught and numb. When the nurses asked her where she wanted to be discharged, Myisha expressed strongly, “I want to go home.” At first, the nurse thought she meant to stay with her parents who were present. But Myisha rephrased, “No, I want to go home to Wayne Hall.”
As Women’s Program Director, Sister Rita, reflected on that night, “I didn’t think she’d want to come back here to Wayne Hall and I told her she didn’t have to. But she insisted saying, ‘I want to come home!”’ Sister Rita continues, “That was one of the defining moments for me in the twenty years I have been at Wayne Hall in understanding the role we play in these women’s lives. It is humbling. I get choked up every time I think about it.”
In the following weeks, Myisha continued following her daily routine at Wayne Hall. Sister Karen could sense that Myisha was overwhelmed with planning her sister’s funeral, and approached her simply saying, “If you need help, just let me know.” Those words comforted Myisha and she sought out Sister Karen when she needed advice on planning the funeral. Everyone at Wayne Hall was there to support Myisha emotionally.
“When you come to Wayne Hall, they are truly there for you in your time of need.” Myisha gratefully shared, “I can tell you why, it’s because at Wayne Hall you encounter people who really love you and treat you like family.”
God led Myisha to Wayne Hall. It wasn’t just a roof to sleep under; it was a home. Sister Rita reflected, “I’ve always known that Wayne Hall is a special place. The fact that Myisha was here at such a crucial time in her life was not a coincidence. It is an honor to be entrusted with the lives of people and I take it very seriously.”
Myisha recently graduated from Wayne Hall but she is still involved in daily life. Myisha regularly visits her Wayne Hall family and even volunteers. They always welcome her visits and are happy to see her relaxing on the couch. Myisha smiled saying, “You never realize how important a place is, until you call it home.”