Local News

Nov 17, 2013 7:33 PM

Paying it Forward at Metro Ministries

CORPUS CHRISTI - A generous donation to one of our local homeless shelters came from hundreds of miles away.

The woman who gave hundreds of dollars has never even set foot in Corpus Christi. Now her donation will help the homeless living in our city.

"When I was 20 years old, I had good jobs and things, you know, it didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to," explained Nick Copeland.

For the past month and a half, he's called the Rustic House for men at Metro Ministries home.

"They try their best to help us live a normal life in our society, but, its a hand up," Copeland explained.

Staying at rustic house is not a free ride. Men who live there have to be working or training to work and they also have give a percentage of their paychecks to case workers who stash it to help them save up while they're living at the shelter free of rent.

"I'm saving money, I'm saving money because I want to get my own place so I can be stable on my own," Copeland said.

The goal at Metro Ministries is to guide the homeless to a stable and self-sufficient life.

The men's portion of the facility is named after Walter Rustic, a homeless man who died in Corpus Christi back in 1986.

"It was a very cold night on December 22nd," Director Patty Clark explained. "He crawled into a dumpster behind Incarnate Word school and the next morning unfortunately he was still sleeping when the garbage collector came," she said.

It's that story from the dumpster that a woman named Eileen Pollack heard about, only she knew Walter not as a homeless man, but as a classmate in 6th grade in Liberty, New York.

She wrote an essay about him that won $500 and sent that money and the book to Metro Ministries for Rustic house.

"We could do lots of things with it," Clark said, "we could buy new bed clothes, we could give it to the guys. But we're going to give it to the guys to think about."

About 16 men live in Rustic house. Copeland says they've helped him so much, he'd like to see that money not spent on himself, but on others who may also need a hand up.

"I personally would give it to the mission itself, so we could get more coats more socks more toiletries and things like that so that the homeless can have.

Metro Ministries does hand out coats, blankets and toiletries to those still living on the street, hoping they'll come learn about their program and make a change. They say when homeless like nick are ready to make a change, they are open and ready to help.

The shelter is always in need of donations and cash. To learn more, visit the Metro Ministries website.



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