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  • Tammi Ector

Love Your Neighbor - Shawn

Have A Heart for Shawn

Here is his story, told in his words about the hurts from the past that led him to become homeless, the help he currently receives at Serve City, and the hope he holds for his future moving forward.

Hurt – I’ve been to Serve City a couple of times. It has saved me numerous times. I was there with Linda Kimble. God rest soul. She helped me get into college. I had a kid on way and had to pick between college or work. So, I picked work. Now I have a 14-year old. Because was in prison, my child’s mother terminated my parental rights. That’s something I’m still working through. This last time, I had a job offer. I was living in Louisville. Avid Hotel in West Chester was opening. I moved back and needed a place to stay. I had a car. It snowed bad and I had no heat in the car, so I came to shelter. Ginger, an old staff member talked to Heather and there were other people moving to the apartments, and so I got a spot. There was a difference at shelter with Dave [the former Executive Director]. I wasn’t around him much. I was more around Heather, Amber, Jess, and Ginger. I had the opportunity to go over to the apartments. It was a life saver. I was working. I totaled my car. The emergency brake got lodged in my leg. I got seven staples. Moved in on a Friday, and the next day I had to go to the hospital. It was 4 or 5 months before I got back in my apartment. I had the worst case of cellulitis. I’m an 18-year recovered addict. I didn’t do NA. God sent me to prison to get clean. There two years. I have an addictive personality, but I got clean.

Help – Heather was a godsend to me. Where other people would have given up, she always saw the better in me. If it wasn’t for them, where would you be? I ask people. Serve City is a gift, I tell them. You shouldn’t do anything to make her do her job. Pay your rent. Don’t have people over that shouldn’t. Live your life, I tell them. I tried to get a job at shelter but there were no openings.

Hope – I love Serve City. I’m in a position where I can’t get a job job. But I will try to work from home. I would like to work in the shelter. I want to give the love back. It might sound preposterous, but I want to help the ones who are there because they need it. I’ve seen it, I’ve been there. Not knowing where my next meal was coming from. You’ve got to want to help yourself. I wouldn’t mind going back to school to be a substance abuse counselor or a peer recovery support specialist.

Shawn describes himself as an overcomer.

Have a heart for Shawn, an overcomer.

To give to our Love Your Neighbor campaign please click the logo to donate online. To mail donations please send to:

Serve City 622 East Ave Hamilton, Ohio 45011.

*All proceeds will go to benefits our residents.

To learn more about the steps of our Move Forward housing program click here.

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