The holidays can be an especially difficult time for many, including people who have no family or are estranged from their family. But many guests at Breakthrough Urban Ministries still have much to say about what they are thankful for.

Dorise was able to keep her family together and gain a stronger support system. .I am a single mother, and my 20-year-old son.my only child, has had kidney failure,. says Dorise. .His condition was a big financial stress for us..

After they were evicted from their home, Dorise ended up in another shelter. .We had never been away from each other,. she says. .It was hard on both of us.. Recounting her desolation of having no one to turn to, Dorise remembers, .I was so lonely..

Dorise has now begun a process of reconciliation with her own family, and she credits Breakthrough with helping her take the first steps. .This is my family too,. she says. .I was able to tell them anything and everything.. At Breakthrough, she is also able to keep in closer contact with her son. .And he knows that I.m happy here, and that he doesn.t have to worry about me..

Patricia is thankful for the many ways in which she has received support at Breakthrough. .I was able to keep my identity,. she stresses. .I am thankful that the people here let me be an individual. They always .meet me where I.m at.. They understand that different people are on different pages in their lives..

After years of living her life in crisis, Patricia is learning how to make healthy choices again. .I have a history of not being very responsible over the past few years. The person I was before drugs and everything seemed to go away. I lost how to do things. I lost everything.job, family and more,. says Patricia. .But Breakthrough encourages me to get up and start new every day. Even when I fall, they help me pick myself up and try to make it a new way..

Patricia is also grateful for the spiritual motivation she receives. .The devotions include me and what I.m dealing with. We talk about how to handle everyday life, but I.m able to look at choices and options. Nothing is forced on me,. she says. .I feel encouraged to start every day uplifted..

In fact, even though it can be tough to see other guests leave when Patricia is still on a waiting list for housing, she finds a way to be thankful. .When someone leaves, it means they.re taking another good step. .it means that someday, I.m leaving too..