When Mark Myer came to The Salvation Army shelter in Laurel, Mississippi he could barely walk, and he had no idea how long it would take to recover. He had been working as a cashier at a gas station, but an unexpected injury set him on a difficult path. “I had a hip injury during an altercation defending my sister, and lost my job,” says Mark. Unable to work, and without any other means of support, he soon lost his home and found himself dealing with a physical as well as an emotional recovery.
After getting treatment for depression, but still struggling to walk after his injury, Mark found himself at The Salvation Army shelter. It was a time where he began working on his physical recovery, slowly walking more while looking for a way to return to work. Eventually he found a job working at a local restaurant. “I saved my money and found my own place to live through a housing program (The Salvation Army) helped me find,” he says.
Now that he has found a new job and a new place to stay, Mark has already begun planning for the future. “I’m saving a little bit more money, hopefully get a little better job and eventually get to a place where I am doing a little better than I was before. I’m already saving up to get a car, and that will help me out a lot,” says Mark.
It is a process that he believes will take some time. But he has found himself becoming more a part of the community as a result of what he has experienced through The Salvation Army. “What was most impressive to me is that there are people interested in helping other people reconstruct their lives,” Mark says. “You see people come through here for different reasons. It inspired me to continue to work to see how I can continue to be a part of this program and help others in this community the way they helped me,” he says.
Mark says that he has found a lot of help through the spiritual message of The Salvation Army and their mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. “I started going to Bible meetings while I was staying in the shelter, and I’ve been going to church here on Sunday’s,” Mark says. That mission is to reach out and help people up who are hurting is why he now feels so connected to the community he found through The Salvation Army. “I’ve seen people who were former users, people who didn’t look so good just a few months ago, but to look at them now those live have changed. That’s the most Godly thing I’ve seen in all my 52 years,” says Mark.
The Salvation Army in Laurel offers shelter to men, women, and to families. People in need, whose path into homelessness may have been very different, are all struggling to rebuild their lives. Through The Salvation Army they can find a place to stay, a clean bed, and a warm meal. But that is just the beginning of the opportunities for those who have found themselves with nowhere else to go. Homelessness is sometimes just one paycheck away, and for men like Mark or for anyone trying to reconstruct themselves, The Salvation Army can be a place where that change begins.