We would like to introduce the beautiful soul that is Erika*. Erika has been coming to KIX since elementary school. Even though she has longevity in the program, Erika often disappears for a while. This happened – again – this summer. She was unreachable until around October, when staff mentor Macrina texted her. Erika began attending the middle school program again. No one really knew why Erika stopped coming to the program until a year later, when Erika opened up about what had been happening at home.
Erika lives in a single parent household, along with five sisters. Last year, the family lived with her mother’s boyfriend. A close family member passed away, and Erika’s mom decided to move out of state. Shortly thereafter, another person passed away, so the family moved yet again – this time back to Florida.
Their previous landlord told them they could move back into the same apartment, but they were soon evicted because the apartment complex was sold. After this, they had nowhere to live, so they moved into another small apartment. They were soon evicted from here too, after not having enough money to pay the bills. The landlord sold all their belongings without permission, so the family had nowhere to live and no possessions.
They moved in with their grandma, but there were over 10 people living in the small apartment now. Erika’s living situation is difficult, to say the least.
So why does Erika come into KIX with the biggest smile in the room? Why is she eager to serve and be a light to her peers?
At our City Life KIX center, Erika knows she can come into a space that welcomes her with love, patience, and consistency. The same people who showed up for her yesterday will continue to show up and invite her in today. Staff & volunteers provide Erika with structure so she can unearth the resiliency God has given her. Here, she feels known, not only by those at KIX, but by her Creator. Because of the loving relationships & truth of the Gospel, Erika knows she can find all she needs, even in ever-shifting circumstances.
*Name has been changed.