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'Angel' helps family overcome homelessness in Pensacola

Photo source: WEAR-TV

The purpose of the Healthy Start Coalition is to improve infant mortality rates across the state of Florida. Here's how one employee takes that mission to wherever it needs to go.

"I was in a very bad domestic violence relationship. I prayed for answers. I asked God. I asked him, I don't know what I'm doing; I just need to go and He said, "If you go, I got you." With a son, two daughters and pregnant with this little one, Ebony Ruffin stepped out on pure faith. She left Detroit with one suitcase, little money and no direction. She boarded a bus and found a domestic violence shelter in Meridian, Mississippi. When time ran out there, a stranger gave her a lift to Mobile. Timed out there, she made her way to Pensacola.

Ebony remembers that night three years ago like it was yesterday. "In that little via duct under the bridge; that's where we were at. I'm trying to; begging people, like, Please, I'll sleep outside. Get somewhere for my children to sleep."

Through several moves among social service agencies, Ebony was connected to the Healthy Start Coalition to get prenatal care. She got that and an Angel in the process; a patient care coordinator named Linda Macks. "She set me up with the doctor's care. She set me up with the resources to look for housing."

Linda Macks remembers a mom, desperate but determined. "She had already had a tremendous journey by the time I met her but she was just willing to go the extra mile and against all odds"

It was Linda's heart for the hurting that made her go the extra mile. Ebony couldn't believe how many ways Linda reached out to help her. "Miss Linda went and picked the furniture up for me because I didn't have money to pay for delivery. I didn't know how to catch no bus. Miss Linda made sure I had bus tickets, made sure I had a bus schedule.

For Linda, it's her calling. "Just having a love for people and wanting to do whatever I can do to help."

She's humble about it but Linda Macks literally rescued a mother and her children from the streets. Ebony now has a safe home for those children, two part-time jobs to clothe and feed them and hope. "This is my friend for life; this is, right here."

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by the Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart.

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