Homelessness, a lesson in humility: Rowan Helping Ministries gave me more than shelter

(Published via Salisbury Post)

My name is Michael Eaborn and I lived at Rowan Helping Ministries.

We are told growing up to shoot for the stars; that it’s okay to make mistakes because we learn from them. We are encouraged to be the best version of ourselves.

One thing in life that I’ve learned is that there are people you meet who could either be good for you or bad for you. Being adopted at age 5, I’ve learned a lot. From being diagnosed with autism, it has made life both challenging and a blessing.

Being a victim of bullying and an outcast in school, I’ve learned what it means to have a family. A family that doesn’t just consist of brothers, sisters, etc. A family that consists of those who guide me on the road to success. Alongside my family is God. When I need the extra guidance in life, he gives me tests. Tests such as becoming homeless.

On Feb. 1, 2017, I was introduced to Rowan Helping Ministries. The thought of being in a homeless shelter was overwhelming at first. The thought of being in a homeless shelter should make anyone think the worst. The “criminals” and “addicts” that are said to be in a homeless shelter isn’t 100 percent true. Many people have problems that have left them without a home. Situations in life they have no control over such as unpaid hospital bills, house fire, or like me, needing to learn how to be humble, responsible and disciplined.

I became homeless the first time due to not following the rules of the house. For procrastinating on the simplest of tasks such as keeping your room clean.

God has a reason for everything. Rowan Helping Miniseries provides assistance for those who need it to get back into society. I’m thankful for what they have provided. They have shown me what it’s like to live independently by placing me in the Eagles Nest Program. They have provided me with ways to manage my money. They have provided me the opportunity to grow in character and judgment. Rowan Helping Ministries isn’t just a homeless shelter. Its guests form a diverse family who share experiences from different viewpoints. It’s a place to learn and expand skills.

Rowan Helping Ministries provides its guests numerous classes such as employability labs that teach how to build a resume, obtain employment, and apply for job applications through job postings and assistance from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College instructors. With their help, I have worked at three different jobs. In addition to job skills, career advancement is provided with the assistance of RCCC counselors.

Rowan Helping Ministries continues to help me on a daily basis. In September 2017, I moved into the Eagle’s Nest Program, which gives the guest independence in living by providing an apartment. To assist me in making choices that are beneficial and a step forward on my journey I was recommended to Mrs. Barker, a life coach who has strengthened my faith in God, has encouraged me to write more and  someone who has motivated me to better myself. Having Mrs. Barker in my life has been a blessing.

In June 2018, I had to go back to the shelter. I was asked to leave because I couldn’t stay organized, with numerous reminders.

God has a plan for everyone. Mrs. Barker has encouraged me to attend church every Sunday. Interfering with my work schedule, I can’t make it to church, so I attend the church service in the cafeteria Of Rowan Helping Ministries. In addition, if I can, I voluntarily attend most Bible study on Monday nights.

This has opened my eyes to what life really is. Rowan Helping Ministries isn’t just the “local homeless shelter.” It’s a place that provides a roof over your head. It’s a place where breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided by volunteers who have God in their hearts.

Being homeless, at first I felt embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to know I lived in a shelter. Looking back, I’ve learned that it’s how you look at the situation, that determines how you impact your future.

Being homeless is a lesson in being humble. Being homeless can happen to even the purest of hearts. For me, being homeless has been an eye-opener to being an adult. It has made me want to better myself. Homelessness has motivated me to put effort in the little things I do.

Rowan Helping Ministries has helped me by assigning me daily chores to keep the facility sanitary. This has taught me responsibility and organization. In addition, I have learned accountability through self-reminding, to keep my bed area clean and full completion of my assigned chore, to avoid a violation. Accumulating five violations will put me out of the shelter.

In conclusion, being homeless is how you look at it. You can blame others and refuse help. Or you can take the advice from positive influences and travel on your road to success. Rowan Helping Ministries has helped me on that road. Sometimes things may seem unfair at first but when you have nothing else, turn to prayer and guidance from God.

I found God at Rowan Helping Ministries.

Michael Eaborn lives in Spencer.