PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - There are 95,000 people that are food insecure, meaning they do not know where their next meal is coming from. Of those, 31,000 are children.
"About three years ago, I left an abusive relationship with my children," Jessica Langston, Craighead County resident said. "I had no place to go. I wasn't close enough to my family for them to help. I had no friends because I had been pretty much cut off from everybody.
Langston was in that abusive relationship for eight years.
"It was really scary. I wasn't, I wasn't prepared, but I finally got to that point where it was either leave or die. I was literally ready to end it myself if I didn't get out. So, I had to make that choice for my babies," Langston said.
When she left that relationship, she took her kids to Mission Outreach. It was there she and her children began to start over. When she was first taken to the family dorms, Langston said she burst into tears.
"I thought I was going to have to share this big empty room or big crowded chaotic room with a bunch of strangers with my babies. And I was thinking I'm never going to get my babies to sleep," Langston said.
Mission Outreach was a place filled with people who helped her and her children begin again. She and her children lived at Mission Outreach for three months and said life there was good.
Over time, she found a job, a place to live, and she and her children have rebuilt their lives as residents in Greene County.
"If I had not had Mission Outreach I'd probably be dead and my children would be in Georgia with their grandparents. When I say they saved my life they really did. They gave me back my hope and they gave me back my self-worth," Langston said.
She now works at Mission Outreach as a grant writer, raising funds for the facility and awareness with the community. She also raises awareness about the work done there, the need in our area and what the face of hunger truly looks like.
"Just because a person is homeless or impoverished does not mean that they are lazy. It does not mean they are a drug addict or alcoholic. A lot of people in the country literally live one paycheck to paycheck. And missing even a day can make you end up homeless too," Langston said.
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