After 27 years of marriage, 4 adult children and 10 grandchildren, I found myself in the middle of a divorce. My husband changed banks, maxed out our credit cards leaving me without any money. Our home was put into foreclosure I was forced to file for bankruptcy. It took over a year for our divorce to go through the legal system, which left me with a minimal settlement due to the debt he had occurred and the legal fees.
While married and raising our children, my role then was the housewife, mother and caregiver to my husband and other family members. When I did work for short periods outside the home it was as a cook. I re-entered the workforce needing to support myself with an older body that was not used to doing such physical labor.
I had no knowledge or experience as to how to get a better job that required less physical labor. Searching for classes to take on how to use a computer to help with this, I incurred many obstacles. First of all, most kids learn how to use a computer in school or at home from a very early age. This left me in a tough position since I had no previous computer knowledge. I did not have the money to take a college class since I was only making $12/hour as a cook. Nor did I have the time, since I was trying to work as much overtime as possible to survive. I found that most companies didn’t want to train for a position.
While going through all of this chaos, I kept wondering why there wasn’t someplace I could go to live affordably, while I was trying to heal emotionally, financially, and spiritually. I needed affordable, safe housing, which was hard to find. I was fortunate to have loving family and friends who let me stay with them. But, I still found myself moving 4 times that first year.
I needed a place I could call home and have others to talk to that were going through this. If I had been in an abusive relationship, I could have gone to LaCasa. If I were coming out of jail or rehab, I could go to ¾ or ½ way house for recovery but there was nothing for a woman who was going through a divorce or displacement
The desire to have this SAFE, LOVING, AFFORDABLE HOME is how Prelude Home came about. It was a seed God planted on my heart, when I was in the middle of chaos. The Holy Spirit has been feeding that seed and leading me to wonderful people who also see the great opportunity to help others succeed in life when they need it most.
The Dogwood Tree and flower represent Hope. The story of the Dogwood is that it is the tree the Cross was made from that Jesus was Crucified on. God said he would never let the Dogwood Tree grow big enough for another crucifixion. The small Dogwood Tree flowers in the spring with each bloom having 4 petals in the shape of a cross with a puncture at the tip of each petal to remind us of God’s love and hope in Him.
The name Prelude has been stuck in my head and I didn’t know why because I never read the Prelude of a book. But I now know that it was the Holy Spirit leading me to start and run this shared home for women, since the first thought of why there isn’t a place for me to live. Prelude is the first chapter of a book and this will be the first chapter in the lives of the Hidden Homeless Women we serve. Together we can make it a great beginning to the rest of their lives while they are living at Prelude Home.
Please keep Prelude Home, the Residents, Volunteers, Donors, and Board Members in your thoughts and prayers.
Pray Us Forward
Founder & President of Prelude Home