Success Stories

Meet the Robinsons

The Robinson family came to Loaves and Fishes during COVID-19. Although the father worked very hard, he wasn’t making enough money to make ends meet.

As we got to know this family it was clear that these parents were unified in their desire to give their children more opportunities than what they had. Growing up in Kinlock was hard. Jimmy and Talisha Robinson knew that their opportunities there were limited.

After seeing the effort of this family, we decided to enroll them in a pilot program that would relocate the Robinson family and place them in a community that would provide different types of opportunities than what they were used to. Not only did we need a community, but a relocation like this would require a support team that could help the Robinsons with housing stability.

We couldn’t have been happier than when Mayor Mike Clement, Manchester Missouri, and the Manchester Cares Team stepped up to help. They opened up their community to our family, introduced us to their faith leaders, and connected us with landlords in the Manchester/Ballwin area.

Through a strong, patient, collaborative effort, we are pleased to announce that this family has a new life in Manchester. Good Shepard Lutheran Church was excited to be a part of this pilot and is the housing stability team.

We would like too that YOU, Mayor Mike Clement and the Manchester Care Team, Gary Hoefferkamp Realtor, and Good Shepard Lutheran Church for giving this family a new life. We couldn’t have done this without you!!

The Williams Family

Cheryl and her family came into Loaves and Fishes in a whirlwind. Arriving without her minor son, we were afraid we would have to relocate them to a program for adults only. To our relief, the son finally came!!

Cheryl and her daughter, Monica, lost their jobs due to COVID and faced many challenges that were negatively impacting the family. Monica was harboring extensive trauma, and her brother, William, was attending school sporadically due to the travel distance and lack of transportation. The LF team was up for the challenge.

We first enrolled William in a closer school district which he now attends regularly. Monica was having trouble expressing her feelings. We connected her to our Art Therapist, who encouraged her to attend classes twice a week, and she did!! Monica flourished in art therapy and found her voice through poetry that she regularly shares with our team members. Giving her an outlet changed her overall demeanor. She and her mother were able to connect, creating a team in their housing journey.

When moving day arrived, there were tears of sadness and joy. Tears in her eyes, Cheryl told us, “I never though I would be sad leaving a shelter.” She had made so many friends and truly felt like a member of our “family.” When she arrived at her home, a triumphant “I DID IT” was shouted by Cheryl through tears of happiness. Her family was healing, safe, and in their own place. We are proud of her and her children and wish them joy and happiness.

The Green Family

“My experience at Loaves and Fishes has been a rebirth of sorts. When my daughter and I showed up {at Loaves and Fishes} a year ago, I was a shell of the man I am becoming today. My marriage was all but over. My wife and I were constantly arguing, cursing each other out, living in and out of hotels, and not setting a good example for our child. I WAS A MESS!!!

You see, I ran away when I was sixteen because my parents were always drinking and fighting. Not realizing it, my life was slowly becoming the place I ran from. God blessed us with a very special child. She is going to be a very successful lady. It’s my job as a parent to protect, provide and give her every opportunity I can to be successful. All children deserve a chance. They need fertile soil and lots of love and support to help them reach their full potential. So, things I used to do I no longer do, I can’t expect her to shine if I don’t show her how.

By the grace of God through Loaves and Fishes, my life has meaning and purpose. The spirit of the Lord is truly in this place. I feel comfortable saying that the staff here is my family. May God bless and keep them. Loaves and Fishes has been a blessing for me and my family.”

The Ortiz Family

In January 2019, my family and I were introduced to Loaves and Fishes. Not being a native to the area, I was afraid of what to expect. I was greeted with warm smiles and reassurance of safety. Upon intake, the staff welcome my three children and gave them snacks and some items to keep them occupied. I told my story to Ms. Angie, and I felt understood and not judged based on my circumstances. During the walk-through of the building and showing my family where we would sleep, I noticed how clean and well-maintained the facility was. The other families in the shelter were friendly and welcoming. In the coming weeks, my significant other and I took Life Skills classes offered by Loaves and Fishes. These classes were terrific, and they taught me to think in a completely different way.

After some time at Loaves and Fishes, I was chosen as the House Mother. I felt honored. It made me happy to be able to make someone coming in feel welcome and not judged. We were always encouraged daily to have goals and take the steps to meet those goals. These are things that I have carried with me to this day.

When my family was selected for a rapid rehousing program, it was the best news we have received because we would find a home to call out own. A few weeks passed, and the staff informed us that it was no longer possible to be in that program. Ms. Jacki and Ms. Darie took my hands and let me know that everything would be ok, and everything will work out. They were right! We were chosen for another program and given a move-in date. Upon leaving Loaves and Fishes, they provided some household items we may need. They also helped with some furniture that was donated.

After leaving the program at Loaves and Fishes, I kept in contact with the staff. I was later employed by a Head Start program that I applied for while in the program at Loaves and Fishes. I would donate items to the {Loaves and Fishes} from time to time and let the staff know how my family was doing. We were also invited to the Christmas Party and were adopted by a family who provided us with presents for Christmas. My children were blessed this Christmas; they were so happy.

Following the things I learned in Life Skills classes, I met my goal and received my CDA (Child Development Associate), which allows me to be an Assistant Teacher in the Head Start program where I’m still employed. I will never forget the staff and Loaves and Fishes, and neither will my family. They gave us the tools to continue being successful in our lives.”

~ Jazmin Ortiz ❤️