Local News

Garner church program helps homeless find 'jobs for life'

Posted June 19, 2014

— Ralph Mutunga loves his new job at the Toot-n-Tell restaurant in Garner and new apartment.

It’s clean and sparely furnished, but it’s the first roof over his head in a long time.

A few years ago, Mutunga’s house was damaged by fire, and he ended up living in the woods.

Out of work and out of money, Mutunga lived in the woods in Garner for two years. He would slip into First Baptist Church for a meal.

That’s where he met state trooper Sgt. Joe Gaskins, who could tell Mutunga needed help.

“When I first met Ralph, you could tell he looked homeless,” he said.

Gaskins and his wife had just begun working with a program through the church called Jobs for Life. The program’s mission is to transform lives through the dignity of work.

The Gaskins worked with Mutunga to help him secure food, shelter and transportation.

“It’s really hard to do an interview and write a great resume when you’re living in the woods,” Gaskins said.

The same man that was homeless persevered through the program, got a job and found a place to live.

“It’s all good, it’s all good,” Mutunga said. “It feels more like a first chance if you stay with it, you know?”

For Gaskins, the program is about giving to others and making a difference.

“I’ll never forget it,” he said of the experience.

For more information about the program, visit the website Jobs for Life .



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  • ncouterbanks69 Jun 20, 2014

    "Most everyone wants to be self-sufficient. Some people make bad life choices but the fact is most people still want to be able to live a happy life making it on their own."

    Holly smokes that is such a nice thought. If only it were true in reality.

  • findoutthefacts Jun 20, 2014

    archmaker...you obviously do not understand the Christian faith but somehow want to tell Christians what they should or should not be doing.

  • Anita Woody Jun 20, 2014

    View quoted thread

    mep is about as trustworthy as a snake oil salesman. This is a great program and undoubtedly the comment is not real. Most everyone wants to be self-sufficient. Some people make bad life choices but the fact is most people still want to be able to live a happy life making it on their own.

  • croberts11117 Jun 20, 2014

    This isn't only church in Garner helping homeless. Big thumbs up to all that have been their for me in the wonderful town of Garner NC.

  • archmaker Jun 20, 2014

    View quoted thread

    and yet, yesterday you were posting about electing Christian leaders who believe in "love thy neighbor, care for the poor, and do not murder." what is the point of electing Christian leaders if they can't act on their faith and instead cut Medicare, cut unemployment benefits, cut benefits for American citizens born to illegal immigrants, and send poor kids in the military to die in an unnecessary Iraq war?

  • Forthe Newssite Jun 20, 2014
    user avatar

    some of you will spew your hatred on any story you can.....WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???

    This is an uplifting and happy story about helping folks and how one person has benefited.....Kudos to the group AND Mr. Mutunga...

  • Naysayer Jun 20, 2014

    This is a positive story, hand up vs hand out. The liberals of the world could really learn something if they paid attention here. Giving someone my hard earner money is not going to help in the long run.

  • ncouterbanks69 Jun 20, 2014

    View quoted thread

    So true, however this type of program would harm his polictical agenda.

  • Thomas Williams Jun 20, 2014
    user avatar

    Sounds like something that would be good for the Rev. Barber to get involved with. This would be a tangible way for his group to have a positive impact on the lives of the people they claim to represent.

  • miseem Jun 20, 2014

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    I think some people associate the word liberal with uncaring, biased individuals. I doubt that you would find many liberals that are against a church helping people find work and housing. In fact, many of the people in churches that are helping these people are liberals. By most dictionary definitions of a liberal, Jesus was one. But don't let that interfere with your assumptions.