For some, coming to a Salvation Army shelter may be a last resort to avoid homelessness and financial hardship. However, a resident of The Salvation Army’s Emergency Housing Shelter in Pembroke, Bermuda, has used her time at the shelter to gather herself and start over.

Mary (not her real name) has lived in Bermuda for the past five years. During her first year in the country, she met her now husband and they soon got married.

At first, they settled in nicely. They lived in a good apartment, and both were employed. But financial troubles soon struck due to various factors. Mary’s work contract ended, and her husband lost his job after the hotel he worked at closed. Then, their landlord asked them to vacate the apartment they were living in.

After losing their home, Mary and her husband decided to come to The Salvation Army’s shelter in Pembroke.

“We came to the shelter, and we received a great welcome. This is a nice place. It has all the necessary requirements. We have a roof over our heads, we have a bed, showers and breakfast. I am very grateful,” Mary says.

“I have no idea where I would be without The Salvation Army." MARY

They came to The Salvation Army after it was recommended to them. Mary likes to say that in a way “The Salvation Army chose us” because she feels very blessed to have been given a place to stay.

“I have no idea where I would be without The Salvation Army. On the street maybe? I don’t know. I try not to think about that because God blessed me with this opportunity,” she says.

Within the shelter, Mary’s outgoing personality has allowed her to become friends with some of the other residents. The staff appreciate her, thanks to her respectful and appreciative manner. She likes to be part of all the meetings and events that the shelter hosts because she considers the complex her “home.”

Her ever-present positive outlook has let Mary move forward with her life. She has used her time at the shelter effectively to find work opportunities in hopes of being able to afford a home of her own in the near future.

Just a few months ago, she was hired by a salon for a hairstylist position. Despite already having worked as a stylist back in her native Barbados, Mary is now working on natural hair for the first time in her career—a challenge she has happily taken on. She desires to perfect her skills and further advance in her profession.

“The salon is a lovely place to work. I am pacing myself and learning right now. My goal is to prove myself and show that I can succeed in working with any type of hair, offer my services to new clients and support my employer.”

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