Local News

A new meaning of Christmas from inside a shelter

Christmas is a holiday when many enjoy time at home surrounded by loved ones.  But for some, celebrating with family inside a home isn’t an option.

The Christmas tree is shining differently this year for Lisa Martin.  Martin says, “It’s the time of year you’re supposed to be with family and my family wasn’t able to help me and pretty much turned their back on me.”

Two days before Christmas, Lisa moved into the Shalom House in Harrisburg.  She’ll be here for less than 30 days.

Lisa says, “At Christmas, I just don’t want to go anywhere.  I just don’t get dressed up.  I just don’t want to be bothered until I get back on my feet.”

Until Lisa regains strength, she’s spending the holiday with others in similar situations.

Beth Ann Carnes says, “I have a family that lives in the area, but they all have their own home but they have enough people in their home.”

Carnes has spent two weeks in the shelter.  Her Christmas gift is one she’s never received before.  She says, “These girls are wonderful, they’re like family to me.  Their children are like grandchildren to me.  They’re awesome.”

Although their lives are not completely stable, the women and children sitting around the tree share a meaning of Christmas that provides hope in the new year.

Lisa says, “I’m not the only one in this situation.  It makes me feel better about myself.  Because if they can do it, I can do it.”


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