You wouldn’t know at first glance what a woman who walks into Harvest Home has been through. All you see is exhaustion, fear, or hopelessness.
For Tami, she sees the painful problems that push these women — and often their children — to the streets. “There’s a wide range of circumstances these women are facing that you wouldn’t even think of,”
When a woman comes to Harvest Home, Tami is typically the second person she talks to. She’s a case manager at Haven of Rest and helps each guest take the first steps toward stability.
“From a young age, I knew I wanted to help people,” says Tami. “The Lord put that calling on my heart and led me to Haven of Rest.”
Tami graduated college in 1997 and started working at Harvest Home as a night supervisor, eventually becoming a case manager. After nine years, she took a step back to raise her son. But even then, she still devoted time to serving the women at Harvest Home. Now, she’s continuing work as a case manager and responding to God’s call to serve struggling women in Akron.
New Harvest Home guests meet with Tami to tour the home, hear background details, and go over guidelines. Tami listens to each woman’s story of how she became homeless. She’ll tell you there’s a vast variety of circumstances that bring women to Harvest Home. “It could be domestic issues, drug and alcohol addictions, lost housing, and more,” Tami says. “Some are young, single mothers and just getting started when their families put them out.”
The hardest part is seeing how a mother’s homelessness affects her children. “Children have to go through that with their mom, even though they had no choice in the matter,” says Tami.
But Tami knows the Lord has equipped her for this work, even when it’s hard. And whatever position these women find themselves in, she is committed to walking with them every step of the way.
Tami meets with each woman on a weekly basis to talk about her needs, goals, next steps, and more. But the best part is introducing her to God’s love. “Many have no knowledge of Him,” says Tami. “We’re here to plant seeds.”
There’s the very real possibility that Tami will see a woman come back to Harvest Home, once again needing help and another chance to start new. But Tami never sees that as a reason to give up on them.
“We’re doing what the Lord told us to do,” she says. “Maybe one day, those women will think back to their time at Harvest Home and say, ‘That impacted me. God really was there.’ And maybe that’s what will lead them into a relationship with Christ.”
YOU HELP CHANGE WOMEN’S LIVES
Seeing the stories of transformation reminds Tami that her work and your support are always worth it. “To see a woman’s success and celebrate her accomplishments, that’s the best part,” says Tami.
These stories of life-change, commitments to Christ, and accomplished goals are possible with your support. It’s through your generosity that Harvest Home continues to be a place of restoration for hurting women in Akron.
“You make it possible to do this,” says Tami. “You provide food, shelter, clothing, and wraparound care. We’re able to share Christ with these women because of you. Thank you!”