Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge. -Proverbs 14:26
Life on the streets is hard. It’s overwhelming, it’s terrifying, and it’s unsettling. This is how Robbie lived for four months before seeking a change.
Growing up in Texas, Robbie was baptized at age 16. Later on she found herself in an abusive marriage, with two children she could not protect. With no small amount of courage, Robbie left her abusive husband, and gave custody of the kids over to her father as he would be able to protect them.
Hoping to start anew, Robbie moved to Florida and began working in medical coding. It was at church in Florida where Robbie met and fell in love with the man who is now her husband. The recession hit both of them hard, and the day came when Robbie’s husband was laid off.
Despite applying over and over, Robbie’s husband was unable to find a new job. There just weren’t jobs available. She fell very ill, and was unable to work. Although the couple stayed with Robbie’s mother-in-law for a while, that wasn’t a permanent solution. The next option was living on the streets.
Life on the streets of Florida was brutal, as Robbie and her husband had to figure out how to get food and water. They sifted through trash cans and ate people’s left over food. The heat bore down on them, and the hard pavement only worsened Robbie’s condition. There were days when she needed medical attention, but the buses didn’t go all the way to the hospital, so she was forced to endure the pain.
Finally ready to make a change, Robbie and her husband moved to Omaha and came to Open Door Mission for help.
Upon first arriving, Robbie was panicked and frantic. She was in a new place, and overwhelmed by all of the changes, but soon came to love it at the Mission. Robbie realized this place was a refuge from the harsh world.
Slowly she found herself coming out of the shell that had developed over years of hardship. Staff at the Lydia House helped her get the medication needed for her condition, and soon she felt well enough to start giving back. The Lord opened Robbie’s eyes to see how He had been carrying her through all of these trials.
Robbie’s husband began working in downtown Omaha several months ago, and the two recently moved out of Open Door Mission into a home of their own. The couple will never forget the kindness and support shown to them during their most desperate time. Robbie is already looking forward to volunteering as a Lydia House front desk receptionist.
“Those first few minutes of coming through the doors are terrifying, and most people don’t know what to do,” said Robbie. “By being at the front desk, I can reassure each person that they will be taken care of, that this is a place to rest. I can be their first friend.”