Father McKenna Center was my lifeline

“When I came to DC, I had nothing. The Father McKenna Center welcomed me and gave me what I needed to succeed.” That’s Jeffrey Sanford speaking about his experience of homelessness and how the Father McKenna Center gave him the guidance and support he needed to achieve his goal of getting past his struggle.

“I came to DC from Alabama, where for six months I lived on my mother’s couch. I did that after a painful divorce where I lost everything.”

Jeffrey recounted that his mother and he decided he needed to do something differently, so he decided to come to DC. “When I arrived at Union Station I had no idea where to go. Someone pointed me to the Central Union Mission, and there I learned about the Father McKenna Center. I came here and was impressed that they serve juice with breakfast.”

But the real change began to happen when he met with Cortez McDaniel, the Center Services Manager at FMC. “Cortez helped me get an ID, and the people at DMV were impressed that I was listing the Father McKenna Center as my mailing address. I got a job at Five Guys – not much, but it put some money in my pocket. Now they want me to consider becoming a shift leader. From there it was getting connected to Goodwill where I entered a training program. I learned from Cortez that I needed to “work the pyramid” – that is be honest with myself, take my progress step by step and take the next right step for me.”

Jeffrey returned to the Father McKenna Center recently to let us know that he has a new job as a security guard with Allied Barton where Jeffrey will earn nearly twice the minimum wage.

He came to us with many personal assets, but he felt lost. The Father McKenna Center provided the guidance and support he needed, and now he is ready to really shine.

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