“I ended up here, I ended up blessed”
Inez Johnson is on the verge of having her own place to call home, but it wasn’t always looking that way. Johnson and her 8 year old daughter, Mikiara moved from Michigan to Mobile to live with family. Johnson’s family needed her and so she packed up and headed south. But not long after moving in with family members, Inez started developing strife with her cousin. To avoid added stress, she and her daughter moved out, but there was a problem, they had nowhere to go.
By early December, Inez sought help from 15th place for housing assistance, and that’s when she learned of The Salvation Army Family Haven. Johnson couldn’t have found a place of refuge at a better time because she was close to giving birth to her second child. Johnson had a bit of uneasiness going into The Salvation Army Family Haven because of preconceived notions of what living in a ‘shelter’ would be like. Once she stepped into The Family Haven, her shelter fears were abated. There were no cots, there wasn’t a massive cafeteria with carbon copy lunch trays or any community bathrooms. “It wasn’t what I thought it would be. It was clean, and smelled good. Best of all, then I realized I had my own room, I was like wow” said Johnson.
Johnsons’ experience in The Salvation Army Family Haven has been pleasant overall. She says her daughter adjusted quickly, making friends with other kids at The Family Haven. Johnson found employment since she moved into The Family Haven which was the beginning of a new path for her. “Once I started working again, things started to come together” said Johnson. Johnson credits the attention to detail the counselors and staff at The Family Haven for her turnaround.
After three months, Johnson was able to reserve enough cash, and find a new home of her own near downtown Mobile. She plans to become more stable once she officially moves out of The Salvation Army Family Haven. Johnson says she would not have been able to get her life back on track without The Salvation Army. “I ended up here, and I ended up blessed” said Johnson.
The Salvation Army Family Haven is funded through donations. Without the generosity of the Coastal Alabama community, families like Johnson’s may not be adequately helped when they need it most.