Sometimes one of the hardest things about getting help is accepting it, but when Alisha Bryant was at the end of her rope, Main Street Ministries in Hillsboro came through for her with flying colors.
“I had no self-confidence, I just knew I needed to get out of the situation I was in,” Bryant said. “When I came here I thought I would have to swallow my pride, but the people here were so great. They listened to me, they didn’t make me feel bad, they were so warm and caring — they changed my life and helped me find hope.”
Bryant, originally from Joplin, Mo., moved into an apartment at Main Street Ministries 11 months ago, along with her two young sons, Issac, 4, and Jayden, 3. The father of her boys was not interested in helping her raise them, financially or emotionally. She was living with her sister in Newton but it was not a good situation.
“We were constantly arguing,” Bryant said. “She was doing things I did not feel were right, and it just was a bad situation for my little boys.”
Bryant heard about Main Street Ministries from an aunt, but it was still very difficult for her to leave what was familiar and step out in faith hoping for a better future.
“I’ve always had very low self-esteem,” Bryant said. “But when my husband left me when I was pregnant with our second child — that just devastated me emotionally. I had to grow from that, and without Main Street Ministries I don’t think I could have come this far.”
Bryant said the Main Street Ministries staff was very warm and welcoming. They listened to her and did not make her feel judged or worthless just because she had problems.
Not only did she not have any money or a job to support her children, she had a bad oral infection.
“It took me a long time to open up to anyone when I got here, at least seven or eight months,” Bryant said. “But I have learned to trust these people. Kimberly Swaney is a very good person. She is honest and hardworking. She is one of the few people I have ever met that I can talk to and trust.”
Since coming to Main Street Ministries, Bryant said she had learned to plan a budget, organize her life, and made a lot of friends. She has had her teeth worked on, thanks to help from local organizations.
“I have really grown in my faith since coming here,” she said. “I made a lot of friends at church and have found unbelievable support.”
In addition to being drawn into a faith community at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church, Bryant said she participated in the Circles organization, and recently started Certified Nurse Aid classes at Butler County Community College in Marion.
“Someday I hope to be a registered nurse,” she said. “Coming here to Main Street Ministries has helped me grow in so many ways,” she said. “The most important part is that my boys are safe here. There is room to play, they go to meetings with me, and I even have help finding babysitters when I need to go to class. This is a great place for us.”
Bryant said the only thing she would change about her life at Main Street Ministries at this time was that more people would hear about the help available to them and check it out.
“It’s really hard to admit you are in a position of needing help,” she said. “But this is a great place to make some positive changes for the rest of your life. I know now that I am OK. I’m gonna make it, thanks to the people here.”
Main Street Ministries is sponsoring several summer events open to the community during the month of June. These Saturday Fun events will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. in the courtyard behind the 415 South Main establishment.
Children ages 3 to 10 are invited to take part in games, Bible stories, group activities, and free snacks and drinks. Those interested may call Swaney at (620) 947-3393 to sign up.
Special events during June include fire truck fun on June 8; games, relays, and water balloons on June 15; petting zoo and monkey bars on June 22; and story time, art and free book fair on June 29.