A PATH TO FREEDOM
JULY 2022 NEWSLETTER
In this month of celebrating freedom in America, it can be easy to forget that not everyone in our country, our communities or even our own neighborhoods have access to the same freedoms we enjoy. At TRM we see people every day for whom freedom has always been a faraway, unrealized concept. Whether it’s freedom from addiction, trauma, or abuse, or basic freedoms such as having a home, a shower, food on the table or shelter in a storm, so many people come to us having never experienced freedom at all.
A few months ago, Treshauna and her grandmother were living in a rented house in Topeka that had become uninhabitable. The gas and the water had been shut off, not because of anything they had done but because the house had become unsafe, with frozen pipes and a flooded basement. They had no heat, no running water, and no way to shower or do laundry. Although they technically had shelter, that shelter was not a home.
The MAP trailers were deployed around the neighborhood where Treshauna and her grandmother were living. At first hesitant to approach the trailers and not knowing what to expect, Treshauna came to the MAP team to only ask for a few blankets. Growing up, her grandmother told her to always be kind and caring and that we should seek to help others and treat them how we would like to be treated. Those lessons enabled her to reach out with a loving spirit even in a time of great need, and TRM staff and volunteers were immediately struck by her quiet kindness. They began surrounding her with the resources of MAP: showers, laundry, clean clothing, and food.
Treshauna says, “MAP welcomed us with open arms and a smile and told us that everything would be okay, and that God would work in our favor. They helped us by giving us a place to take a shower when we didn’t know where we were going to shower…they were there to give help, to listen, to do anything that we needed.”
When the phone call came that Treshauna and her grandmother had found new, safe housing, TRM’s MAP and Distribution Center teams sprang into action. They loaded up a truck with beds, furniture, and household items, and La Manda, TRM’s Executive Director, went through her own home to find anything that could be used to bless the new home Treshauna and her grandmother were moving into. Soon Treshauna and her grandmother were settled into their new home; safe, warm, and filled with love.
As her relationship with the MAP team developed, Treshauna began a friendship with Haleigh, a TRM staff member. Haleigh was so impressed by her that she approached La Manda and said, “I really think Treshauna needs to work at TRM.”
Even though Treshauna was young and had limited work experience, La Manda prayed and felt impressed by the Lord to put herself and Haleigh down as references for a job opening at TRM’s Hope Center. Hope Center staff interviewed Treshauna and soon hired her, but her challenges weren’t over - only a few weeks after beginning her new job her grandmother’s car (and her only mode of transportation) broke down.
When La Manda and Haleigh learned she was taking the bus to and from work every day, they worked together to provide her with reduced bus fare paid entirely by TRM. La Manda says, “We can’t expect people to break through and experience this new life, and then take on all of the challenges at one time. It’s overwhelming, and that’s why people give up.”
Today Treshauna works at the Hope Center’s busy front desk, being a beacon of kindness and strength to children and families in need every day. Treshauna says about working at the Hope Center: “It’s a wonderful thing. You have to have a strong heart, strong mind, and be willing to listen to others but also to listen to yourself. It’s a great experience…sometimes it will get rocky and there will be little bumps in the road, but we come together as a team and we solve the problem. I love the experience and I love all the guests that I meet there. I think of them as one big happy family.”
When asked if she is feeling more freedom in her life after connecting with TRM, she says, “It makes me feel happy to know that I can be at TRM with everyone. I feel happy I’m here, and that we’re in a warmer home now, and we have lights and warm running water…it makes you really think about others who don’t have warm running water, a place to stay or a roof over their heads. It makes you really think about how blessed you are, and how God has done things and pulled your life together right in front of your eyes. That God has done all these things, and He will do more as you grow - it’s just such a beautiful thing.”
Haleigh says about working with Treshauna, “She has this presence about her that no matter who is in the room, she wants to welcome them. She comes from a challenging place, but you would never know that because she’s always on fire to love people. All you have to do is be around her for about ten minutes and you’ll see. To have her as the face of TRM at the Hope Center, pouring love into these people, is huge. TRM won big when they hired her.”
From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank Treshauna and her grandmother for their kindness, loving spirits, and incredible determination to face the challenges that come their way!