United Way Lends Helping Hand

1 decade 1 week 1 day ago September 18, 2006 Sep 18, 2006 Monday, September 18 2006 Monday, September 18, 2006 5:43:36 PM CDT in News

"We lived in a park for a year and a half before we even knew anything about the Salvation Army," explained Tom Horne.

Tom and Karyle spent nearly a decade in and out of homeless shelters.

"I don't know how much lower you can get than living in the park and drinking everyday. But we were pretty much at the bottom," said Karyle Horne.

"In Washington Park, we lived out by the one at the River. In the woods, in the bathrooms at night," said Tom Horne.

"In a bush when it all got quiet waiting until everybody left so you could lay down and get up before somebody comes back." Karyle "Being a person. It's real easy to be a drunk. It's real hard to stop being that."

"I didn't think there was anybody out there who really cared," explained Tom.

"I couldn't do it anymore. I was going to die, no question. But I didn't. Here I am,"  said Karyle.

Karyle and Tom found an open door at the Salvation Army's Center of Hope, a 40 bed emergency shelter that consistently houses upwards of 50 people per night.

"They got us off the street. They gave us decent clothes. Because if you don't have an address or phone number, you can't get a job," said Tom.

 The Salvation Army helped Tom and Karyle stop drinking and get into transitional housing program which helps them pay for utilities and rent. They now have their very own apartment.

"Waking up in a new place is kind of neat because a lot of people haven't been there," said Tom.

"The United Way has certainly afforded us the privilege of working with them. There would be no success story for Tom and Karyle had it not been for the United Way," explained Major Ben Stillwell, Jefferson City Salvation Army.

The United Way of Central Missouri gives not only to the Salvation Army's Center of Hope but to its social service programs as well.

"They're all good people. They really are," said Tom.

"It's because of them that I get another chance," explained Karyle. "We're gonna make it. We're gonna make 'em proud."

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