JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Life hasn’t been so kind to Jaime Hymel. Being dealt some bad hands led to bad choices.
“I was heavily addicted to heroin back home in Louisiana and I was living out on the streets,” she said. “I was getting to the point where I would either kill someone else or kill myself, and God brought me here to get right.”
Hymel found Mission House in Jax Beach almost three years ago and turned her life around.
“Mission House means I get fed,” she said.
Doors are open seven days a week there; the work never stops. The nonprofit facility relies on the community’s support to help those who are homeless and struggling to get back on their feet.
Every day, Hymel and up to 150 others come through Mission House’s doors for food, clean clothes, case management, and help finding work.
In order to get work, people need clean clothes; but one of the two washing machines at Mission House broke a week ago, putting the facility in a bind.
“The other one is about to fail,” executive director Carina Saladino said. “It’s been challenging.”
Saladino added that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the year especially tough.
Mission House saw an additional 850 guests since May of 2020.
The pandemic also caused Mission House to cancel its annual gala that brings in up to $150,000 dollars in donations.
Getting new items like a washing machine is a challenge.
“Every dollar counts, and everything that you donate,” Saladino said.
Community buy-in and just knowing people out there still care means the world to Hymel.
“It means we get clean clothes, it means that there are actually still good people out there,” Hymel said.
If you’d like to make a donation to Mission House, you can do that here.
Mission House also takes in-person donations at its location, 800 Shetter Ave. in Jax Beach.
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