A Perfect Storm of Heartbreak

Five years ago, Jim (not his real name) found himself in a perfect storm of heartbreak. His parents’ deaths and a difficult divorce, compounded by other problems, left him without money, a home, or a car and miles away from his child, “the real joy of my life.” After the divorce his wife had moved with their child to Enumclaw. So Jim moved to Enumclaw so he could continue to regularly see his offspring. But the move worsened his situation. He had no friends, contacts nor a good enough job to make ends meet. “I was hanging on by my fingernails.”

Jim was 30 days away from being homeless when he found Plateau Outreach Ministries on Cole Street. We gave Jim a voucher to help pay for rent, preventing his eviction. We also made sure he had food and clothing by introducing him to the POM food bank and More Pennies from Heaven thrift store.

When his tooth abscessed, we found a dentist who would treat him for an affordable fee. POM also gave him a voucher for the antibiotics the abscess required. But most important, Jim says, POM helped him rebuild his sense of self-worth and peace of mind. “I had nobody to turn to. But at POM everyone treated me like a friend. They believed me and believed in me. I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t have money or food.”  When things are that tough, he says, “It means a lot when you walk into the food bank and the manager gives you a big hug.”

While Jim’s story is uniquely his, his inability to make ends meet is common when crises strike. Plateau Outreach Ministries helps its clients find the peace and hope they so desperately need. “I was really down. POM gave me hope that things would turn around,” Jim said. Today Jim helps POM from time to time with odd jobs. “It’s a compliment to be asked to help. After all they do for you, you want to help somebody else,” he says.  Our files are filled with stories about people who having worked their way out of a crisis with POM’s help now want to help others. And that is one of our ultimate goals, helping people to the point they can turn their lives around and then, help others.