You supported Ben – and his family.
Ben Holmes had many struggles and lived at the Mission’s Drop-In Center on and off. After he passed away, his parents attended the memorial service we hosted and learned something surprising. Your support made it all possible!
Growing up, Ben was a sensitive, creative kid. In junior high, he began having seizures, eventually causing brain damage. To cope, he began using drugs as a teenager. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his early twenties.
Ben’s parents tried to help him as much as they could, but it got to the point where, “sometimes it felt like, the more we did the less help he got. [But] you feel guilty that you’re not taking care of him,” his mother, Alice Anne, said. So there came a point where, out of deep love, they could no longer allow him to live with them.
Ben had good days, but also days when he couldn’t remember what happened earlier in the day. “So it was really hard to let go of him,” his father, Ron, shared.
Ben was hospitalized multiple times. His mother shared, “I was always glad when he was in there because I knew he was being cared for.” But once he was released, Ben would stop taking his medication, because he didn’t like the idea of it.
For about two years, Ben often stayed at the Drop-In Center and continued to keep in touch with his parents.
“It meant so much to know that somebody out there cared about my son.” – Ben’s father
Ben’s father confided, “It was really sort of a fear of mine that my son was living alone, lost out there in a cold, cruel world.”
In August of 2018, Ben passed away.
Mission staff planned a memorial service for Ben and welcomed his parents to participate. Alice Anne said, “I didn’t realize how much of a family he had developed. People took the time to talk with him and get to know him… at the memorial, it was amazing to hear their stories about what he had meant to them.”
“It meant so much to me to know that somebody out there cared about my son who I was unable to care for in that way at that time. It was pretty overwhelming, in a good way,” his dad said.
Ron continued, “I’m so grateful for this ministry being here and the touch from God that goes through these people’s lives and reaches out to those in need.”
Your care of one person who is homeless impacts their whole family.
In 2018, a local artist began a tradition to honor Mission guests who have passed away by painting their portraits on wooden bowls. Ben’s portrait is one of them. And his parents were invited to take part in displaying the bowl on the chapel wall.
“What really surprised me about that was… there were 11 bowls, it wasn’t just one,” reflected Ben’s mom. Each of those 11 people was a sister or brother, son or daughter who had passed away. Alice Anne expressed, “That really struck me, thinking that there was someone there for them and that they all mattered.
It meant a lot to Ben’s parents that the Mission was there to care for their son. That wouldn’t have been possible without you.
Thank you so much!
Our heartfelt thanks to Ron and Alice Anne Holmes for sharing about their beloved son, Ben.