SWFL mom rebounding a year after homelessness

Posted at 10:49 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 22:49:22-04

FORT MYERS, FLA — A lot can change in a year and a half, let's take Denise Gray for example.

At the start of the pandemic, we met Gray, her daughter "baby" Denise, and many others who were homeless and finding shelter outside of the downtown Fort Myers library.

"We're going to try and wait it out to see what happens," said Gray in April 2020.

These days, Gray's life looks completely different.

"Starting out it was pretty unsure of where my daughter and I were going to end up," she said.

A few months after we first met her, she was plugged into the new life dream center at the Word of Life Church in Fort Myers.

"The program has been an awesome experience," she said.

It's a faith-based counseling program that's been around for about 40 years.

"It started in New York to help those who had drug and alcohol addictions and other types of problems that kept them out of their families and living on the streets," said Word of Life Church Pastor Gaspar Anastasi.

And a few days after these interviews Gray and others in the program graduated.

Gray leaves the program with a job, a home, and another graduation in September, this time to become an ordained minister at the church.

"It's gonna be full-time ministry. I'm gonna be working underneath a pastor," said Gray.

And the good news doesn't end there. Baby Denise isn't a baby anymore, but a thriving toddler.

Gray says she wants others who are currently struggling to know that change can happen for them too.

"Just for everyone who is watching, God can do anything god can change any situation so just keep the faith and keep the hope," she said.