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Kathy is thankful. Thankful for the help Allied Churches provided her husband, son and her when they lost their home and had nowhere else to go. Thankful that she found the strength to beat addiction, staying sober since 2008. Thankful for her son who has Type 1 diabetes but who remains relatively healthy. And most of all, thankful to God. “They can take your home, they can take your children, they can take a lot of things from you. But they can never take your faith.”
Kathy found Allied Churches when her husband got laid off and the unemployment benefits took so long to arrive that they lost their home. The shelter provided their family the time to get back on their feet. Steady work remains difficult to find, but the family has secured a home, and they are working towards self-sufficiency. Part of those efforts include “giving back.” Kathy helps with the laundry at the shelter even though she has moved into her own home, and regularly counsels people at the shelter who seek out her advice on developing faith in God to address the obstacles that emerge in life.
It would be easy for Kathy to focus on the challenges she has faced and continues to face. Rent and utility bills stretch a small budget thin. Insulin for her son can cost as much as $800 a month. Instead, she sees life as a blessing. Things could be worse, she reasons, and there are so many things to be thankful for. Her seven children and 13 grandchildren are a particular source of pride…and hope. Her goals in life are simple but profound. “Live a happy and wonderful life and watch my grandchildren grow up and try to teach them right from wrong and teach them the Bible, and teach them their faith.”
Interviewed by Sara Beth Puckett, 2015. Photographed by Trina Holt, 2015