A common theme among clients served during grocery distribution on Friday mornings is the ways in which they’ve turned their lives around through faith. Unfortunately, poor decisions made early in life often have consequences that follow these people the rest of their lives – long after they’ve paid their debts to society.
Most of Denise’s troubles stems from an assault charge over 20 years ago. Though she completed her sentence and created a supportive environment for herself after prison, Alabama law prevents her from receiving food and utility assistance and housing. “[The law] is designed to keep you down,” she says.
Denise lives what most of us would call an exemplary life: donating most of her belongings to charity, mentoring neighborhood children, and living in recovery with the help of her faith community, Kairos Outside. Despite this, she has trouble securing basic housing, transportation, and even water. Glad just to have a roof over her head, the house she lives in now doesn’t have running water, as the copper pipes in the building were stolen to be sold on the black market.
Even with these difficulties, Denise is positively sunny about her possibilities, and has big dreams for her future. “God don’t like ugly,” she says; she’s committing to making her world a better place a little at a time. Greater Birmingham Ministries helps Denise fill in the gaps as she works to realize her potential.