Her life as an Executive Assistant to a Senior Vice-President of a Fortune 500 company was great, but Chanel has learned that life’s situations can change quickly.
She was promoted and relocated to San Antonio in 2007 with the company which she had worked for eight years. She thought her husband made the move with her. But, after three weeks, he announced that he had never had any intention of moving; left and filed for divorce, leaving Chanel to go through these transitions on her own in a new city.
Chanel was obligated to her employer because of her relocation and did not miss a beat! She worked hard for the next two years until the restructuring of the company left her without a boss and then her $50,000 job was gone!
She sincerely thought that she would be given her job back when things settled down at the company, but that did not happen. A practical and professional woman, Chanel was wise in handling her money. However, after the divorce and months of unemployment, her funds were depleting. She had already canceled all of the things that had once been ‘normal’ for her; insurance, credit cards, phone, but it wasn’t enough. She could no longer pay the utility bills she had once paid for before their due dates and services were disconnected.
Pride kept her from asking friends and family for help—she had always been the one that had it together and did well in life. Sadly, when she did get the courage to ask for help, people she thought were her friends turned their backs on her. Chanel’s faith shines through when she talks about how she has forgiven them, but knows she can no longer count them as friends.
Chanel had hit rock bottom. “I never thought I would ever have to worry about food. I was humbled and thankful for whatever I had—even when it was just a loaf of bread!” Desperate and unsure what to do, Chanel called United Way and was referred to SAMMinistries. After listening to Chanel and assessing her situation, there was very little that could have been done at that point, but to go to a homeless shelter and start over!
While she was at the shelter, she found work for a non-profit cleaning toilets for a group home and working at a retirement center. This steady income gave her enough money to get her own apartment. Soon she received a job offer from another large company for an even better job than the one that had brought her to San Antonio! A larger salary
and excellent benefit package gave her reason to celebrate and be hopeful again. She was back on her feet and her hard times were behind her—at least that is what she thought! Three months later, as layoffs hit her new company, the last hired were the first to go and that included Chanel! But this time, she knew her life situation was not one of which to be ashamed, “It can happen to anyone in any walk of life. All it takes is to lose your job and your money runs out.”
In fact, Chanel saw herself as stronger and wiser; she was determined that she was not going to be homeless again. “It’s so easy to slip into poverty and not have the fight. But this time I felt like a mighty eagle with a positive attitude, fearless spirit and one who makes wise decisions.”
She signed up with a staffing agency and received a contract to work for CPS which was to begin in a few weeks. In the meantime, bills needed to be paid. She was honest with her landlord, who would work with her as best he could, but she needed help. This time she wasn’t going to wait until it was too late to ask! She called SAMMinistries Homeless Prevention Services and received the assistance she needed to stay in her apartment and start her new job burden free! “I am at peace. Thank you for sowing a seed in my life. Because of you, I am able to walk with a smile!”
When asked if there was a message she wanted to give to our readers, as a professional woman who has gone from a high-paying job to cleaning toilets, she spoke from her heart, “I am so thankful for what I have and prayerfully ask that you, please, keep giving money, food, clothing to the organizations that help people. I say with great joy that the staff at SAMMinistries made a wonderful difference in my life. They were compassionate, understanding and helped me beyond my expectations. But . . . I know they cannot do it alone.“
Chanel looks forward to working her way into a permanent position with CPS as she lives her life according to Romans 4:17, “Calleth those things which be not as though they were.” A stronger and more grateful woman, she is definitely expecting good things in her future and we know they will come her way!