Special from the Adams Rescue Mission

By Lex McMillan

She is a mid-20s, single mother of two young girls, and she wants to work.  Indeed, she needs to work. The biggest obstacle is the difficulty of getting childcare. As recently reported in The Guardian and elsewhere, “high costs and lack of access to childcare is preventing many thousands of women from returning to the workforce in the United States despite a widespread labor shortage” (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/05/).

She moved to Gettysburg from her home in Brooklyn in June to stay with a friend who had offered her a place to stay and help with her children.  The reality of that offer didn’t quite meet her expectations; she soon found herself homeless.  She found her way to the Adams Rescue Mission and had the good fortune of an opening at Agape House.  She and her daughters have been in the loving and secure embrace of ARM’s family shelter since October 1.

Jill Herbert, the Life Skills Coach at Agape House, describes their new resident as highly motivated, self-disciplined, meticulous, and a devoted, loving mother to her “adorable” little girls. Jill adds that the young mother has a “strong faith” and feels that God is leading her to something better.  She acknowledges, however, that the new resident is in a difficult place.

Although she has nothing but gratitude for the care and support that she receives at Agape House, she says she feels “trapped, stranded.”  She has been applying for jobs but is limited in her range because she has no car. Even if she got a job, she would immediately face the childcare challenge.

With assistance from SCCAP and the local office of Justice Works, she has secured the state assistance that is available to her.  This includes a voucher for rent, food stamps, and a voucher for childcare if she can find it.  Like many others, she is on the waiting list for the three good childcare programs that are within walking distance of the Agape House.

Jill notes that the Intersection Church on the Baltimore Pike, where this young woman worships every Sunday, is opening a childcare program.  Without a car, this is not a feasible option.

As she told me her story, she revealed her mix of hope and anxiety.  She clearly wants to be a good mother and provide for her children.  She is deeply grateful for the loving support at Agape House, but she yearns for a “brighter path.”  For now, she must wait for an opening at a childcare center and can only hope that it comes before she secures a job within walking distance of Agape House.

The Adams Rescue Mission exists to proclaim the passion of Jesus toward the hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted; to accelerate recovery and restoration to the least, last, lonely, and lost.  Lex McMillan is an ARM board member.

To support the Mission: http://www.adamsrescuemission.org/donate-now.