Written by: Breana Harris
Oh the irony of how God works! After living out of state for about two years, I moved back home and began working at Hope Ministry of Pointe Coupee, Inc. and it has been a wonderful experience. In just three short months of working here, I have gained a wealth of knowledge and witnessed firsthand the hardships faced by members of the community. Helping to meet the basic needs of others is truly a humbling experience.
One particular incident that stands out to me most was when the Executive Director was out of the office and I had to stand in for her. The day was going extremely well. Prior to leaving, the Executive Director informed me that a couple, who relocated from Mississippi after the flood, would be coming to the office. They had been working extensively with the Executive Director to get back on their feet. My task was simple. I was to get the address of their landlord to provide them with rent assistance, a service that we offer.
As soon as I saw them walk through the door, I went to my office confidently to get the required information. That was when it happened. The woman hung her head and said, “Thank you but we may not need it now. Our landlord just evicted us and we have no place to go.” Shock and panic immediately began to set in. I had never directly assisted a client before and I had no clue what to do. Immediately, I called my supervisor, who at that time was not available to answer.
The couple was now sitting in my office with tears in their eyes looking at me to solve their problem. My hands began to shake. I took a deep breath then smiled and assured them I would do everything I could to help them. I started googling and calling every apartment complex and shelter in the area. Finally, the Executive Director called me back. Even though she was out of the office, she began doing research and contacting her resources to assist the couple.
That day I gained a tremendous amount of respect for my supervisor and all that she does. This issue occurred an hour before closing on the day before the holiday weekend. In the end, the Executive Director pooled together our resources to assist them as much as we could. However, we later found out that the couple was not immediately evicted. The landlord gave them a week to find other housing accommodations and the couple never returned to our office. We jokingly recall this as the day I was initiated by fire.
Despite the rare occurrence of moments like this, working at HOPE has been very rewarding. It is the moments when we provide food to the hungry or diapers, bottles, and formula to a mother in need that I am grateful that God placed me here. Every now and then it is good to be reminded of my blessings and not to take any of it for granted. The wonderful thing about Hope, and there are many, is that the money and resources donated go directly to those in need in this very community. I am so happy to be a part of such a wonderful and giving organization.