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“So you’re not going to pay my electric bill?,” she asked incredulously? Her boyfriend, who had been quietly playing on his cell phone, looked up, equally shocked maybe even a little angry. “No ma’am, we’re not,” the Case Manager replied calmly. “Right now, neither one of you is working, you have two other adults living in your house and they don’t work either. And from what you’ve told me, no one in your household is even looking for work,” he continued. He reached into his desk drawer and pulled out the contact information for Texas Workforce and Forward Training Center and passed them across his desk to the young couple. “Give these a try,” he said. “Come back when you’re working or when you can at least show me you’re looking for a job, and I’ll be happy to help you work out a budget and a plan to get sustainable.”

A few feet away, the receptionist is taking information from a middle-aged man who leans awkwardly on the new crutches he hopes he never has to get used to. The strain from his situation is written all over his face. The doctors got out all the infection and saved his leg, but it will be weeks before he recovers enough to return his construction job – and a regular paycheck. In the meantime, he has a family to feed and bills to pay. They had a little savings and his wife works part-time, but it just isn’t going to stretch nearly far enough to keep them afloat. The last place he wanted to be today was here – or anywhere – asking for help. His Case Manager assured him that we all need a little help every now and then, especially in circumstances like this.

The two of them worked on his budget together, forecasting how long it will be before he can go back to work and looking for ways to trim expenses over the next month. With careful spending, help from Mission Granbury with his propane and our weekly food distribution, they should be okay until he’s able to go back to work. And when he does, they will be sustainable.

On the other side of the building, a family is meeting with our disaster relief case manager. Over the weekend, they lost everything when their rented mobile home burned to the ground. It’s astounding what “losing everything” really means. No dishes, no blankets, no school clothes, no pajamas for the kids, not even a hair brush. It’s the emptiest feeling ever. This family is in crisis. Our community is incredibly giving, so much of what was lost will be replaced either through direct donations or from our New Beginnings Resale shop where the family can shop for emergency supplies. But the bigger challenge is finding a new home that will house their family of six and be in the same school district. Thankfully, our case managers are working together to try to find them a place. In the meantime, we will do whatever we can to move this family from crisis back to sustainability, because that’s what we do.

Writing a mission statement is serious business. Mission Granbury’s mission statement is “moving children and adults from crisis to self-sufficiency” and we’re serious about it. When we wrote it, we wanted to define our purpose and outline concrete goals in one short, simple statement; and we did. Not everyone who comes to Mission Granbury gets what they came for – but thousands do. Some even come back and become volunteers after they’re back on their feet. That’s when we know our mission statement is working.

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