Tyra Jones always knew that she wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. Born and raised in Cincinnati, her placement here at the Gateway Center has opened her eyes to new perspectives on homelessness, and it’s sparked a fire within her to continue on the path she is on. Here, she can often be found helping in the Clothing Closet and working with volunteer groups. Recently, I had the privilege of talking to Tyra about her work so far at the Gateway Center:
How did she learn about the Gateway Center?
Through another organization, she tells me: “I came to the Gateway Center through a program I’m in called DOOR.” DOOR is a faith-based network of six cities that provides opportunities for service, learning, and leadership development within the urban context. Tyra has had the opportunity to host volunteer groups in the evening here in Atlanta along with working at the Gateway Center during the day. She expressed to me how she is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this organization, to meet new people and learn about who they are and what they are doing. “It’s a beautiful thing to know someone’s story… how they feel comfortable enough to even share it with you” shares Tyra.
Before coming to the Gateway Center, Tyra had thought that she would be changing the world, so to say, on a larger scale. However, her time here has heavily influenced her present and future thoughts and plans. “Man was I so wrong… being around someone who is experiencing homelessness and seeing the joy they have even in their situation makes me never want to complain. They have taught me so much… even in the midst of their problems they can still smile and thank God for everything he has done for them.”
The non-stop movement and upbeat atmosphere can be exhausting, but Tyra would have it no other way. The time she spends with the clients, other employees, and volunteers makes her experience here worth it every single day.
She lets me in on the secret to her continued strength and success: “I maintain hope through faith, love, and prayer… I have my moments of self-doubt, I am always worrying about the small things but that’s when faith kicks in… I know I always have love on my side to get me through the day.”
Welcome to Gateway Center, Tyra!
Article penned by Lilly Grella, GWC Summer Intern