Woman Raises Money for Delmarva Homeless Shelters - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Woman Raises Money for Delmarva Homeless Shelters

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Lereka Marshall, pictured to the left. (Photo: WBOC) Lereka Marshall, pictured to the left. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- Thirty-one-year old Lareka Marshall has come a long way.

The Dover woman grew up in foster care and three years ago, she and her three children were homeless.

"First and foremost, I am a person that has come from rape," Marshall said. " I am a young lady that came from abuse and I am a young lady that came from homelessness."

Marshall said there is a silver lining to every dark cloud. In January of last year she created an organization called "Project Soulful." Her mission is to give back to the homeless population on Delmarva.

"We go to the homeless shelters and we feed the homeless and we also bring gospel singers and comedians for entertainment."

Marshall works closely with a woman named Mona Smiley, who is a music minister at Emmanuel Covenant Church in Salisbury, Md.

" I met her when she was 17-years-old, " Smiley said. "My mother was a foster parent and Lareka was a part of our home. Her heart is in everything she does. That is what made me want to connect with her and want to connect with her."

Marshall's church family lends a helping hand. This week the team is holding a gospel concert to raise money for "Project Soulful." The event will be held on Friday, Aug. 22, at the Sam Yoder Farm in Houston, Del. The event begins at 6 p.m.

"The proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the project, " Marshall said. "It will help us to continue our mission towards feeding the homeless."

Marshall is now on the board of directors at the Crisis House in Georgetown, Del. She hopes her story will be an inspiration to men and women that seek refuge in the shelter.

" I let them know that Lareka Marshall went through homelessness," she tearfully explained. "I know what it feels like to not have a car, I know what it feels like to have to pound the pavement to find a job and having the responsibility of your children. I understand the pain. I am working for my community, I am working for the homeless community."

It is a promise she intends to keep. Lareka Marshall says the payback is priceless.

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