Michelle’s Story

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    My Name is Michelle…

    …and I can say for sure that meeting Megan seven years ago was one of the best things that has happened to my life. When I first met Megan I was homeless, depressed, scared, and living on the streets in an abusive relationship. I could not parent my children because of my lifestyle and my state of mind. I will always be grateful to Megan for the ways she guided me and helped me in my darkest times of life. I finally came realize that the rest was up to me. I had to make choices to be a healthy person and mom.

    I am now living in Gadsden, Alabama. I have family here—including my kids—and I have my own place. I finally got my GED this year and plan to start Gadsden State Community College in June 2013, working toward two majors: X-ray technology and psychology.

    I told Megan that I wanted to follow in her footsteps and become a social worker, offering what I have learned to other people who are hurting and scared. I know for a fact that if I hadn’t met Megan or any of the staff at Outreach, Inc., I would still be on the streets of Indianapolis.

  • Megan-Hershey-200

    My name is Megan…

    …and I have been challenged and grateful to be on staff with Outreach, Inc. for more than six years. I met Michelle in my first month at Outreach. I was initially drawn to her angry heart, challenged to understand her, relate to her, and ultimately, to be entrusted with her life story:

    Michelle spent most nights squatting under the West Washington Street bridge and was often abused. Alone and depressed, Michelle attempted suicide on several occasions. Homeless for four years and pregnant for the third time, she finally felt fed up with the destructive choices she was making. She began seeking after Jesus and attending a Bible study at Outreach. We had many conversations about faith and I encouraged her to ask questions about God. Eventually, Michelle decided to take seriously His promise of “full life.”

    As her life began to change, Michelle began attending GED classes, joined a church, and began to repair broken family relationships. During this time, I helped her get health insurance, prenatal care, and temporary housing. Then we began focusing on her long-term dreams of being present for her children, pursuing her education, and becoming a social worker.

    In 2011, Michelle made the bold decision to move with her family to Alabama. I felt sadness as she left, but believed that God had given her the opportunity to leave old ways behind. Since she moved, I have heard a joy in her voice when we talk on the phone. I celebrate her healing and anticipate many more decades of friendship, as Michelle grows into a loving, attentive mother and a trusting daughter of God.