“My husband committed suicide on Christmas night of 2006 in the basement of my family home while I was at work.” Allison shares this heart wrenching information about how her husband’s back injury interfered with his job, making it impossible to work anymore. He dealt with the pain through several medications, but did not fully address his past hard life when he spent some time in prison prior to his marriage to Allison. He became depressed beyond measure.
Her way of coping with his death was to continue to help everyone she could and never saying ‘no’ when someone asked for her help. She always worked fulltime and paid cash for everything. Allison felt guilty for being blessed, and gave so much away to people who had less, that she ended up in need. Her parents had always warned her, “Take care of yourself first.” Before Allison understood why, she found herself unable to pay the bills and fell so far behind that she lost her family home on September 26th of 2010.
Allison moved to an apartment for a short while, but was not able to fully recover financially. She became homeless on August 19, 2011, and called upon Harvest Home (the Women’s Division of Haven of Rest) for help. While staying there, she learned how God wanted her to take care of herself first and love herself in a godly fashion. She realized she needed to listen to Him before jumping in to help others. She discovered that sometimes she was enabling them when they needed to cry out to God and lean on Him for deliverance.
“I helped others less fortunate out of temporary fixes, but Jesus has the permanent solutions.”
Allison shares this after finding herself in need like the people whom she had helped. However, they were nowhere to be found when she needed the same help in return.
While at Harvest Home, Allison said Ms. Thelma had God deep in her heart and had many discussions with her about the Lord. Allison worked from 11 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., but still was able to benefit from the Chapel services, laundry services, Discipleship program, and many other services offered during her stay at the Mission. Harvest Home helped her to save money and transition into sustainable housing, putting her back onto her feet.
She remembered the valuable lessons she learned while at Harvest Home and relied on the Holy Spirit to guide her through to safety – both spiritually and physically.
Today, Allison shares that she is working full-time in the Records Room at the Police Department. She is also a STNA (State-Tested Nursing Assistant), and works PRN at Concordia of Sumner in Copley, Ohio. In addition to that, is an independent business owner in the essential services industry.
Allison’s childhood dream of being able to help the homeless and less fortunate finally came true on April 27, 2021. She became licensed by the State of Ohio to operate her faith-based non-profit organization called The Welcome Table – Akron, LLC to help those who are impoverished.
Allison has learned to take care of her needs first and no longer says ‘yes’ to everything or everyone when people ask her for help. She is thankful to the Mission staff for showing her how, outside of Christ, true change cannot take place. She believes unless the Holy Spirit produces change in one’s life, many only experience behavior modification, and are prone to fall back into the same, if not worse, patterns of destructive behavior.
If you would like more information about Harvest Home or know of someone who needs help, please call 330-434-1149 or email Director of Women’s Division Kathleen Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org.