Single mother of four finds home and hope at LifePath shelter

Daneysha Simmons and her four children live together in the same room at the LifePath Christian Ministries Women and Children’s Shelter. “I look at life differently,” Daneysha says. “I’m ready to show my kids that you can change the course of your life.” (Our York Media)

“God, give me the strength to stay focused.”

Daneysha Simmons recites that prayer to herself every day.

She says it when she gets up each Monday morning and strips the bunk beds for laundry day. She says it after long days at work when she sits in traffic to pick her children up from school.

And she even says it when she ushers her four little ones into the basement for Bible study at LifePath Christian Ministries Women and Children’s Shelter.

Daneysha’s journey started years ago, when at 17 she became pregnant and dropped out of school.

“I had no job, I didn’t really know where I was going to get money from,” she says. “It was scary.”

“I’m ready to show my kids that you can change the course of your life, and God can give you the support you need to make it happen.”

Jobs would come and go, housing would stabilize for periods of time, but all it took was one small, unexpected crisis — the bills would pile up and she’d find herself homeless.

In December, after the birth of her fourth child, the eviction notice came again.

It was a wakeup call.

“I’m tired of this cycle,” Daneysha remembers thinking. “It’s time to do things differently.”

That’s when she went to LifePath Christian Ministries – and her journey began.

Starting the transformation

That first night at the LifePath Women and Children’s Shelter was tough. She barely slept, but she knew it was the first step to changing her life.

“It was time to get myself together,” she says. “I needed to show my kids I can be better and give them a better life.”

The staff at LifePath referred Daneysha to the Next Door program, a partnership with Bell Socialization Services, which will help her afford an apartment. A caseworker has been helping her with budgeting.

“I take it as a blessing,” Daneysha says. “It really opened my eyes to a lot of things I was doing wrong in my life.”

She quit drinking and smoking. She hopes her latest temporary job may soon become permanent. And each night she climbs into the bunk beds where she and her children have found hope, and she helps them stay focused as they work on homework together or talk about their day.

A new life in Christ

Each new day, Daneysha wakes up and recites her prayer. It keeps her grounded. It reminds her that her journey isn’t over. But most importantly, she says, it helps her know that she isn’t alone.

“I look at life differently,” Daneysha says. “I’m ready to be that responsible woman. I’m ready to show my kids that you can change the course of your life, and God can give you the support you need to make it happen.”

Don’t forget to give to LifePath during Give Local York Big Give Day on May 4.

Story paid for by LifePath Christian Ministries

 Call: 717-845-7662

 Address: 371 W. Market St., York, PA 17401




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