Friday, Jan. 17, 2014
AUGUSTA Ga. (WRDW) -- This has been a tough week for Augusta's homeless population and the people who work day and night to make sure they have a warm place to stay.
So, it's fitting that January's Time To Care award winner is a woman who decided to devote her life to homeless women.
Her name is Virginia Lifsey and some of you may have had her as a teacher. She had a long career with Richmond county schools. She's got a lot on her mind as she walks from room to room in a women's shelter near downtown Augusta.
"Four families share this room," Lifsey said.
Now, instead of a career, Virginia has a calling.
"If Jesus was going to be anywhere in Augusta, Georgia, He would be on the streets with regular people. He served the poor when he was here on earth," she said.
She's director of the point, a shelter for homeless women and their children.
"It's not that they're more needy, it's that they're in the greatest danger," she said.
Danger of becoming victims themselves.
"There are unfortunately men and women who will take advantage of them and get them into the sex trade," Lifsey said.
This place offers them an alternative. There's room for up to six women and their children.
"Most of our young women are very employable," Lifsey said.
The Point allows the women to find work while their children are in daycare, meeting needs both physical and spiritual.
"And the Lord provides everything," she said opening a refrigerator door. "It's not that we have a budget for anything."
They stay until they can take care of themselves. Virginia stays right here with them.
News 12: "So here we are sitting in your office doing this interview- but it's also your bedroom. Tell us about your living arrangements."
Lifsey: "I have a home. A wonderful home. But I don't need it right now."
Virginia wants to be here to open the doors at six in the morning and lock up at night. Living here with her dog and two cats just made more sense.
"It just wasn't practical for me to go home. I wasn't getting enough sleep!" she says with a laugh.
News 12: "So Virginia, at this point in your career did you ever imagine yourself living in a homeless shelter for women?"
Lifsey: (Laughter) "No, this wasn't my idea," she says, laughing loudly. "I still have more than I need and I'm very comfortable."
Her mission is to make the women who come here feel the same way.
Virginia has a bigger dream of serving even more people in need. Her goal is to find space in the downtown or Harrisburg area to expand.
Maybe someone reading this can help her ministry grow. She's always looking for things to help the young women and children at the shelter. They need everything from diapers to toiletries to food.
The Point does not get any government money. It survives on donations from the community.