This is one woman’s story:
When I was hired at Laura’s Home, it was a wonderful place to work. The pace was fast and hectic but seeing the women and children grow, their wounds heal, and their eyes get opened to a Savior who loved them made it all worthwhile. The director at that time was caring, compassionate and always ready with encouragement, yet tough enough to not be naïve about women’s issues.
Changes were coming and the director didn’t accept those changes and we ended up with a new director. He made his wife a chaplain at Laura’s Home, even though she was not ordained to be a chaplain. He then started shifting life at Laura’s Home around making it hard for residents and front line staff alike. (Of which I was one). We were no longer “supervisors”, but became “security” and the placed turned into a prison-like atmosphere.
I wanted to leave then, but thought “this is a Christian place; surely they have some good plan that I’m not seeing,” so I decided to wait and see. Things got worse and they fired one of my co-workers. No one knows why to this day. Next, it was me. The woman who poses as head security would drag me by the arm and make me pack up women and children’s rooms and throw them out because she found a piece of candy in the room. THEY were thrown out while others doing sexual misbehaviors were allowed to remain. This baffled me and made no sense at all.
It was tough for me to stay then, but it got worse. (And trust me when I tell you that I’m just mentioning a few things that occurred there).
Next, “head security woman” would come sown to our office and harass me and tell me that I was doing things, (that I was not) and said that my co-workers and the residents said I was (trying to make me feel that everyone was against me). My co-workers sent her e-mails “confessing” to what they had done and I made copies of them to show her. She then accused me of TELLING them to do the deeds. This kind of thing went on for a solid month-every day. Every day I got blamed for anything and everything that went on there – even on my days off she would call me at home and accuse me of something. She’d blame me for taking phone calls and misguiding the people who called, even though by then she had put me on the midnight shift. (No one called on THAT shift!)
I hopelessly tried clearing myself and asked her to bring forth my accusers because I could stand blame-lessly before them. She could not produce them. She told me that she had been speaking up for me all month and that the director would have fired me if she had not. Then…I was terminated and told I had a month to find work.
During this time my co-workers would meet in a car in the parking lot to pray for me. They had to pray there because they feared being fired too if they were caught. I called the director and requested to see my records because I was being accused falsely all month and I didn’t want that false record to follow me. He met with me the next day and told me that it was his choice and that he didn’t have to show me anything if he didn’t want to. I told him that though he might want to fire me, that I’m self-supporting and that I wanted to be able to secure work since the mission doesn’t pay into unemployment. I told him (very politely I might add) that the employee handbook stated on page33 (I believe) that I had the right to see my records once a year.
To see that I knew what the handbook said angered him, and he told me to skip the month; I was fired on the spot! I Asked unbelievingly, “is this what happens when someone asks to see their records?” He snapped “In your case!” He also stated that he would give me a bad recommendation for not resigning.
I am still amazed that ANYONE could be so horrible to someone for no apparent reason; could make up lie compounded by lie and put them in a record that could follow and harm you. I still feel violated today by this appalling behavior that made no sense whatsoever. The whole grueling month was a nightmare.
I wrote a letter to the head of the City Mission, who did not even bother to acknowledge me or give me the courtesy of answering it, so you are my next step.
I’ve since found out that two other good employees that I had the privilege of working with have also been fired for made up reasons, and two more will have left by the time this is printed, due to the cruelty and dishonesty that is going on there.
This letter speaks only for the employees. I have heard that there is bad news planned for the residents also. But I will let that person tell you about that when she writes HER story.
I only know that this MUST end soon! Thank You For Listening,
Name Withheld Upon Request
Copyright: NEOCH Homeless Grapevine;Clevland, Ohio-Issue 76