The Midnight Mission helps thousands of people annually and have helped millions over the course of our 99 years of service. The Midnight has worked tirelessly on innovative programs such as our Courtyard Outreach Program and Project Safe Sleep.
Not too long ago, we received a message on our social media from Carol Gaetke, “We lived there (in the courtyard) for over 8 months. We are doing great! My husband (James Gaetke) graduated with top honors from an HVAC Training Program and is working as a technician. God Bless!”
Social media has made it easier for The Midnight to connect and keep in touch with those who have moved on. We recently reconnected with James and Carol to hear how they ended up at The Midnight.
Life was hard and James drifted from job to job with no real direction, but was somehow able to make ends meet and build a life with Carol in Florida. When James lost his job, he and Carol decided to travel to California to look for work.
While in Fresno, their truck blew up in an accident and they salvaged what they could to return to Florida. They traveled as far as to Las Vegas, saving as much as they could to buy a car. Ultimately, they ended up traveling to Los Angeles with the hope of finding work.
They spent 4 months on the streets in a tent on Skid Row, eating meals and showering at The Midnight. One night after a robbery their fear and uncertainty led them to The Midnight’s courtyard. “Because we’re not from the neighborhood, we felt targeted by predators on the streets. The courtyard gave us the safety we needed until we could take care of ourselves.”
After 8 months of living in the courtyard, the Gaetke’s saved enough to travel home. They ended up in San Antonio, Texas where James took up day labor jobs and made the decision to invest in his future. “I just wanted more in life. At age 50, I enrolled in college. I was the oldest in my class! I fi nished the Heating/Air Conditioning Training Program and graduated Summa Cum Laude. I am now apprenticing, and we are living in a house.”
The Gaetke’s made good use of all that was available to them at The Midnight, “You helped feed, clothe, protect and support us. The staff was attentive and caring. Tell Ms. Holmes, our case manager, and our friends Fred and Calvin that we said hi.”