Nadine left an abusive boyfriend, rode a bus all night long from the Northeast with her teenage child and her toddler child, to arrive at the Mission for a new chance at happiness.  Nadine never sat around feeling sorry for herself or her situation, she eagerly worked with Case Management to get things transferred in regards to business licenses so that she could look for employment in this area.  She was able to find employment rather quickly and housing followed shortly after.  Nadine was able to save money while at the Mission and was able to move her children into a safe apartment complex and provide them with a stable roof over their head.

Marsha and her husband recently came to stay at the Valley Mission after their time at another emergency shelter had ended.  This was not the first admission for this couple to the Valley Mission.  Marsha had many physical issues upon entering the Mission, but after several weeks of being here, Mission staff noticed that there was a change in Marsha’s appearance.  Marsha’s skin had taken on an orange tint and even the whites of her eyes were discolored.  Case Management staff called Marsha and her husband into the office to discuss their concerns and to help coordinate a visit to the hospital or to her doctor ASAP.  Staff contacted Marsha’s physician after getting permission from Marsha and, when informed of her symptoms, the doctor’s office said for her to get to emergency room to be checked out.  Upon getting to the ER Marsha was promptly admitted and tests were run.  She was sent to Lewis Gale for further testing and surgery.  The final diagnosis was that Marsha had Stage 2 Pancreatic cancer.  Had she not been at the Mission having meetings with case management on a regular basis, her cancer probably would have gone undetected and once detected her treatment options may have been fewer in number.  Marsha has started Chemotherapy and is cooperative in working with her many doctors.

Katie, a 27 year old female arrived at the Valley Mission with her 2 young daughters and pregnant with her 3rd child.  As a single mother she was overwhelmed with her 2 daughters and struggling with a pregnancy filled with complications.  She was unable to work due to her pregnancy and lack of child care for her 2 young daughters, ages 4 and 2.  Katie stayed at the Mission for about 6 months, during which time she gave birth to a healthy son.  Katie received very little support from the limited number of family members that she interacted with and the children’s fathers were not involved with them.  Case Management worked with Katie on getting birth certificates, which in itself was an ordeal due to one of the children’s birth certificate being flagged and required Katie to actually go to Richmond to obtain the birth certificate in person.  Katie left the Mission to pursue some transitional housing but due to complications there she was allowed to return to the Mission with her 3 children.  Katie was able to find childcare for her children and has obtained a job and has been applying for apartments.  Due to a charge from about 10 years ago, Katie was turned down at several apartment complexes.  Katie and her family have been in an apartment for about 2 months.  Katie continues to work and recently purchased a car in order to help with transportation.  Katie has also utilized her tax return money and paid ahead on her rent for 3 months.

Rhonda, a woman in her early 30s, shows up at the Valley Mission.  She is from Ohio and hoping to find herself a better life here in Virginia.  She came here to be with her boyfriend, who had family here, but was quickly informed by the family she couldn’t stay with them.  Desperate for a safe place to stay she came to the Valley Mission, while her boyfriend stayed with his family.  Over the next month, her boyfriend gradually stopped being a source of support and communication ceased between the two.  Rhonda floundered for a few more weeks about what to do, despite suggestions and encouragement from Case Management to move forward with her life.  Rhonda began applying for jobs and was excited to tell her Case Manager when she had gotten a job.  After much encouragement and suggestions by Case Management, Rhonda met with a VCSB – PATH worker, and worked with him on completing an intake evaluation at VCSB.  Rhonda continued working and saving money and met with her VCSB and VM case manager regularly.  She looked for housing options for several weeks and finally received word that she had been approved for assistance through Permanent Supportive Housing, through the new Valley Homeless Hotline.  What started as an expected very short stay turned out to be a 6 month stay, but Rhonda was able to move successfully into an apartment that she will be able to sustain with her income.  Rhonda had a happy ending due to the collaborative efforts of the Valley Mission, Valley Community Service Board, both PATH and Case Management, along with assistance from Valley Homeless Hotline.

Wanda, a woman in her 70s, arrived at the Mission after having most of her belongings stolen at another shelter.  She was tired, alone and feeling defeated.  She was behind in vehicle payments and was worried about her car being repossessed.  Wanda worked with Mission staff to get enrolled in classes with a community agency, which led to employment for Wanda.  Wanda followed up on suggestions given by case management and was able to make financial arrangements about her vehicle and no longer had to worry about it being taken from her.  Wanda worked many long hours while saving money in preparation of leaving the Mission.  She wrote her case manager after being gone for several months to say “thank you”  for all of the help she received from case management and the rest of the Valley Mission staff. Wanda had no family left and stated that she felt like the staff at the Mission really cared about her overall health, safety and well-being.

Recently a 72 year old woman showed up for admission to the Valley Mission.  She had traveled here by train from Washington State to visit family who lived here in Staunton.  Her family in Staunton didn’t want Linda to stay with them except for a few days and she ended up at the Valley Mission.  Linda revealed to her Case Manager in their first meeting that she was Bipolar and had left Washington during a manic phase.  She left behind her apartment, belongings, and her husband of 49 years and many dear friends.  Linda regretted her choice to come to Staunton, but felt like she was stuck here and couldn’t afford to get home.  Only because of generous donors like yourself, Valley Mission was able to assist Linda with purchasing a train ticket back to Washington State so she could once again be near family and friends.  Linda’s Case Manager was able to assist her with getting in touch with friends in Washington to make arrangements to get her keys back to her apartment.