Joquel Hunt is a writer, mother and author of this blog post. She trusts Mustard Seed to take good care of her son and daughter while she runs errands, tries to secure housing and carves out some time for herself to cope with the stress of the family's life.
I am sure you have heard of Mustard Seed. And no, I am not referring to a seed we sow to produce a plant, although the seeds that are sown at this school will reap a harvest that will indefinitely carry them throughout their entire lives. It’s the little ole school that does “BIG THINGS” everyday.
Everyday parents such as myself sign our kids into this school with the knowledge that our most prized possessions are well cared for. And they are! Seeing is believing with me. The love, the care, the patience, the respect our children receive is unmatched. No wonder my 2 kids love it here!
I am the mother of 6 but only have 1 child in my care currently. This summer I had the privilege of having my 12 year old son Ante’ with me too. You see, Ante has behavior problems that stems from my past drug addiction, parental neglect, and a mixture of other things. And since I am the only one who understands him, because I also dealt with these same issues as a child, to Mom he came.
Being homeless is extremely difficult especially when there are children we have to provide for along with ourselves. We live it “one day at a time” literally! Some days we win. Some days we feel defeated. But we do not dare give up!
Our children count on us to provide for their needs and they expect us to be there for them. We do it everyday the best way we can. And we leave the rest up to God. His ways are much higher than ours anyhow.
We sleep in our vans. Our cars. Outside in a tent. In motels. We sleep wherever we can. Sometimes we even sleep on the couches or floors of family members. We bear the load of caring for our children in circumstances such as these while trying hard not to burden them with our “adult stuff.”
On a day to day basis, we encounter many things on different levels.
Sometimes we parents have difficult mornings and lack the coping skills we need to be able to push beyond the hurt.
We deal with our own children’s whines, tempers, as well as trying to stay strong for ourselves.
We encounter drivers with road rage. We make calls to different agencies asking for help only to hear a no!
We are pushed to deal with a housing program that has funding for us, but puts us through a bunch of unnecessary changes just to say, ‘no you are not approved.’ And the reason most of do not get approved for housing is because the rule of the program is this: either you sleep outside, in your car, or wait to get into a shelter and that’s it. Who wants to continue to sleep outside or in a car? We can’t even rent a motel room and still be qualified for the housing program at the same time.
It takes so much strength, so much courage and an extremely strong will to endure seasons such as the one we homeless families currently find ourselves in. We swallow our pride everyday while trying to hold onto our dignity.
So, when we can go about our day in confidence knowing that our babies are ok, it is a sigh of relief. One less thing we have to stress over.
I am so grateful for these wonderful ladies who pour themselves into the lives of our children effortlessly.
Casey, the Coordinator, who meets and greets us with a smile everyday. She is sweet, patient, caring, and exemplifies love for every single child every single moment she is present. She oversees the care of the School. The children. The volunteers, the donations, as well as the staff, with dignity and honor and trust. Thank you Casey! Every seed you’ve sown shall reap a harvest!
Let us consider for a moment the daily demands of every child with their delicate needs. And still each child is treated equal and fair. There are no favorites here. This is what every staff at this school exemplifies and I am honored to have my children among such a wonderful group of people.
Lucia, she gives herself to those kids freely. And no one else can take her place. The kids see her first before going into the classroom and see her last before leaving the school. She is strict but patient, tough but loving. She is the one who handles all the intakes when we first enroll our children into Mustard Seed. She assesses each family/child for needs and makes sure they are taken care of. Upon entry each child receives a pack of underwear, socks, along with a backpack full of supplies. If they need more, just let her know and she will make it happen. Such a rare gift! God bless you!
And let’s not forget about Liana, she does all the paperwork with a smile.
This type of service is needed throughout the world, but as homeless families we are blessed that we get it right where we are. It’s like God’s hands are working through these ladies to make sure our kids are ok so that we parents can be ok.
It takes a special type of person to impact the lives of children through empowerment, enrichment, and care. And that is exactly what our children receive every single day.
Ms. Annabelle and the few others you guys rock too! Good luck on your new journey. And thank you to for caring for our children unconditionally with restrictions or biases. We love you!
Let us recognize Mustard Seed school for all their hard work, dedication to our children, exemplary service and unconditional love. They are truly a Godsend and we are truly blessed and thankful to have them among us.
THANK YOU MUSTARD SEED FAMILY!
YOU GUYS ARE THE BOMB.COM!
Written by Joquel Hunt