Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
Shalon McMullen tried to hold back her tears. She simply couldn’t believe a U-Haul truck filled with furniture arrived at her house Saturday afternoon.
“I didn’t expect it,” McMullen said with a wide smile. “These people are amazing.”
McMullen’s story was featured in The Wilson Times on Jan. 4. McMullen and her family are among the first who were able to get into stable housing thanks to Hope Station’s Westview House, which is Wilson’s first shelter for homeless families.
McMullen, who had moved from Las Vegas to North Carolina, had trouble making a fresh start after her mother, a disabled veteran, died unexpectedly. McMullen has worked her entire life but got into a financial hole due to paying for her mother’s funeral expenses and the upkeep of the home they shared in Las Vegas.
McMullen stayed at the Westview House for three weeks and was able to get a leg up financially. She and her children recently moved into their new mobile home but were in need of many items, including furniture.
But that all changed Saturday.
A ‘WHOLE HOUSE’ OF FURNITURE
Several community members reached out to Hope Station after reading the article, including Wilson resident and evangelist Jackie Bailey. Bailey knew someone who just might be able to help McMullen — Jasmine Mann.
Mann’s mother, who was also a veteran, had recently died.
“I went to her and asked if she had anything to give away,” Bailey said. “It just happened to be her mother’s whole house.”
Bailey, along with Mann and Jerlonda Branch, rented a U-Haul. The women filled up the truck with numerous belongings and headed to McMullen’s house Saturday.
Mann said after she read the article, too, she knew it was meant for McMullen to have her mother’s belongings.
“It just kind of reminded me of Mom,” Mann said. “We never had a lot growing up, but anything she had she would always give to someone. If it was our last $20 and someone needed it, she would give it.”
Mann said it was a blessing for her to be able to give and help someone else, just like her mother would have done.
‘GOD PUT ME HERE’
McMullen was in shock as the items were unloaded — headboards, mattresses, bedding, curtains, a sofa and love seat, as well as a dining room table and chairs.
“It’s like a fresh start, a new beginning,” McMullen said. “It’s the greatest gift.”
Bailey said she knew God was in control of the situation.
“God put me here,” she said. “I feel like I saw that article to be able to bless her.”
FROM A HOUSE TO A HOME
Before the women left, they had to do one more thing for McMullen and her family to ensure her new house was truly a home. Together, they all joined hands and bowed their heads. Bailey, who operates the ministry “Break Every Chain” under Wilson Chapel, said a prayer, blessing the home and the family.
McMullen said the Wilson community is like no other, and she is grateful to be a part of it. McMullen said while it’s been a long journey, she believes God has directed her steps.
She said when she is able, she plans to give back to others, just like those who gave back to her.
“I cannot wait to do this for somebody else,” McMullen said.