Welcome to the Mustard Seed “story garden.” This page is a work in progress, where we intend to gather and share stories collected over the years. Come back often!
One of the most important elements of the Mustard Seed experience and the path to healing and growth is when guests begin to unpack the stories of their lives. Most of them have journeyed through incredibly painful experiences before coming to us – and every single story is unique.
A surprising number of women who experience homelessness at some point in their life are college educated. Some come from loving, supportive, intact families, and others are survivors of childhood abuse and neglect – as well as domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Often, those experiencing homelessness battle drug addiction, mental illness, learning disabilities and other challenges that make it difficult to hold down a job and pay for housing. Medical issues can turn temporary setbacks into lifetime struggles. This list barely scratches the surface of the myriad factors that can lead to housing insecurity and homelessness.
Since opening our doors in 1995, we’ve gathered writings, video and audio testimonies of the life-changing impact of Mustard Seed – from current and former guests, but also from staff, board members, volunteers and other supporters. In short, from all those who make up our family. We’ve had visitors to our home tell us that it’s difficult to tell who is a guest and who is a staff person or volunteer. That is wonderful to hear! Guests are welcomed and fully integrated into our daily life – as soon as they are ready and able.
We are thankful to all those who so generously and courageously share their journeys here.
Here are a few links to get you started as we work on loading up more for you to read.
Answering the Call to Mercy – cover story of Fall 2016 issue of FAITH Saginaw, by Mary Katherine Quasarano
Our co-founder Leona Sullivan and Amy Bartels Roe (executive director) share some of their personal stories and memories of the early days of Mustard Seed. Get to know former guests Tangela, Kia, Tammy and Shelly, also.
We are so thankful to the media team at Hopevale Church for filming and editing of this video, which also includes music from Dr. Don Steele and fellow musicians who worked on a special benefit album for Mustard Seed. Hear powerful words from Amy, plus former guests Amber, Jeannette, Judy and Trina.
The Mustard Seed – film by Luka Dziubyna (rent or purchase on Amazon Video)
Filmmaker Luka Dziubyna spent 10 weeks with Mustard Seed Shelter guests in early 2019 filming this documentary, a powerful, informative and revealing account about the journey from homelessness to hope. In addition to reflections from Amy, hear from former guests Roxanne, Stephanie, Dawn and Amber. Woven in with many of the heart-wrenching events that bring women to Mustard Seed is a story of the unconditional love they meet here and the strength and resilience they find in themselves as they change the direction of their life stories. We do have copies of the documentary at our home. Please contact us if interested.