Renewal Story: Thomas

Posted: January 11, 2023

It was time to leave Oregon, Thomas decided. His personal and professional life hit a dead end there, “and it rained 90% of the time,” he says. “It was so depressing.” His plan was to relocate with his four children to sunny Florida and make a new start. However, his circumstances had taken a turn for the worse by the time they reached Fort Worth last summer.

Sleeping with his family in their car, Thomas searched for a shelter that could accommodate a single father with four young children. He found Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County.

“When I first came to UGM-TC, I met some residents, and they told me how the program helped them,” Thomas says. He knew then that this was his best opportunity to get back on his feet and lay a solid foundation for himself and his family.

“My case manager, Daniel, has been great,” Thomas tells us. “And the parenting classes gave me tools to better connect with my kids so I can have a positive, healthy relationship with them when we leave here.”

Thomas also grew spiritually at the Mission, particularly through Father Andy’s ALPHA course. “I really enjoy hearing Father Andy speak! He’s inspiring and uplifting and has good, positive energy. There are days when I’ll be going through something; then I have the ALPHA class, and it’s just what I need to hear. It gives me hope. It reminds me of my purpose and puts me in a good mindset.”

Thomas’s main purpose is to be the best dad he can be to daughters Nevaeh, 10, and Aria, 7, and sons Lucas, 5, and Reuben, 16 months. He also has a professional goal to complete his certification in data analytics and work for Google or a national financial firm. He still plans to move to Florida, where he has already chosen a school for his children.

In the meantime, Thomas doesn’t regret one minute of the time he spent here. “UGM-TC gave me more than resources. They gave me the drive to succeed. I appreciate being here, being able to pursue my certification and spend time with my kids.”

He tells us people at the Mission call him “Father of the Year,” but he doesn’t see it that way. “I’m just a dad who loves his kids.”

Send this blog post to someone: