Mike and Karen
Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation that we would have never thought was possible, but with faith and support we can rise above what brought us down and emerge with more than we thought we could. This is the story of how Mike and Karen found more than self-sufficiency at HOPE Campus.
When the doors of HOPE Campus opened on September 29, 2017, Mike B was among the first residents, arriving on the first of October. He had been on the street since 2011. Mike spent most of his time in the library, reading and keeping it clean; he had no idea how much the library would change his life. Three months after arriving at HOPE Campus, a woman walked into the library and into Mike’s life.
Karen found herself at HOPE Campus after losing everything that she had with no place to go. She arrived at HOPE Campus on January 22, 2018 and that last thing that she had her mind was meeting a man. Karen’s last husband was verbally and emotionally abusive so understandably, she was skeptical of any man. Like Mike, Karen enjoyed the library and spent quite a lot of time there. When Karen met Mike, there were several things that she liked about him; his intelligence, his big heart and his faith in God. Her interest in the library became less about the books and more about Mike, but because of her past, she was vigilant for signs that Mike was like the cold, callous man that she was with previously. Would his demeanor and the way that he treated her change? Is this an act to cover his true intentions? These are the thoughts of every victim of domestic abuse.
After five months, a friend of Mike’s asked him if he was interested in any of the ladies at HOPE Campus. He replied, “Well, if I had to choose, it would be Karen”. Thinking that this was just idle conversation between friends, Mike did not give it a second thought. Little did he know, his friend was playing matchmaker. The friend told Karen what Mike had said and the seeds of love were planted. In May, they started spending more time together with Mike inviting Karen to his church, introducing her to his pastor and slowly gained her trust and showed her what it was like to be loved and cherished. At the end of May, Mike asked Karen to be his wife. Karen accepted, saying “God made me trust a man again and gave me the strength to love”. They were married in September at HOPE Campus with Dewayne, who is not just an intake coordinator but an ordained minister, officiating. Mike and Karen have successfully transitioned into self-sufficiency and have grown their family with the addition of a sweet, lovable puppy.
In one year, the lives of these two individuals were changed forever and they found more than HOPE, they found a new life; one with love, companionship and faith renewed.