For 30 years, Jacqueline devoted her life to serving people as a patient care associate in hospitals and nursing homes. She was born with a servant’s heart. She never imagined she would one day need help herself. “I like helping people,” she says. “The whole time I worked in the medical field, I worked really hard. In 1997, I moved to Columbus and bought my own home. But then everything started to change.” In 2008, the economy collapsed. A year later, Jacqueline’s position was phased out. For the first time in her life, she couldn’t find another job. Shortly after, her bank merged with another one. That’s when something went wrong with the paperwork regarding her mortgage and she couldn’t sell her property.
“Everything went south for me at the same time,” she recalls. “I kept trying to find a job, but nothing worked out.” Jacqueline, a committed Catholic, also took vows as a nun, hoping to get placed in a local parish. But that didn’t work out, either. “I went through all my savings. So last year I became homeless. That’s when I came to Nancy’s Place,”she says. “Coming to a shelter was a real shocker. But I’m thankful that I have a safe place to live, three meals a day, and my basic needs are taken care of.”
She’s also found a new way to serve others. “This whole experience has strengthened my faith,” she explains. “You have to have faith in your heavenly Father and he will help you. I am now trying to encourage other homeless women in their time of need. “I remind myself of the Apostle Paul. Paul didn’t have an easy time. He was beaten, stoned, imprisoned, shipwrecked, hungry, and homeless, outside, in all kinds of weather. Like him, we’re not going to have an easy time in this world. But if we stay faithful to our Father, His grace will get us through. It just takes time.”