“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy” (NIV Proverbs 31:20).
Jennifer Crosby is the epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman. Jennifer resides in Birmingham, AL, with her husband, Derek, and son, Elijah. She is an administrative assistant at an accounting firm. She finds joy in demonstrating the love of Christ by serving others in her community. After moving to Birmingham with her family three years ago, Jennifer realized there was a huge underserved population of homeless individuals. This compassionate woman recalls turning down an alley and seeing a man sleeping under a bridge. The sight of this man sleeping under a bridge completely wrecked Jennifer. In that moment, she began to see people through the eyes of God. She realized homeless individuals are sons and daughters of God who were created with a purpose and are dearly loved by their Father.
Moved to compassion, Jennifer’s mission became to help people change their perception of people the world deems unlovable. Jennifer’s heart grew to minister beyond homeless people to reach prostitutes, drug dealers, pimps, and drug addicts. She connected with various ministries to serve these groups of people until she was led to start her own ministry called Hope for the Homeless. Since launching her ministry, Jennifer has helped thousands of people on the streets. Hope for the Homeless has grown tremendously and has impacted many lives. With so much work to do, God has blessed Jennifer with an awesome team to help her carry out her God-given vision.
Jennifer has not only seen growth in her ministry, but also herself. She was once someone who was timid and confined to a box. She often felt as though she had no voice. However, starting her own ministry forced her to dig deep inside of herself to pull out someone she didn’t know existed. Being bold has allowed her to open up and be an advocate for those society has silenced. Her boldness can be felt through her work, which is why she has attracted so many people to her ministry. Operating in her ministry has definitely pushed Jennifer out of the box she was once confined to, and we are so glad for that push.
My husband has always encouraged me to step out and speak up, but I allowed the fear of what people think and what they might say hinder me, but I’m growing and learning in that area and value God’s opinion of me far more than people.
Jennifer has had her fair share of struggles. She grew up in a broken home to a single mother who selflessly went without to provide for her four children. Considering all she has gone through, Jennifer’s greatest achievement is providing a stable home for her son. She finds joy in seeing her husband be a role model to their son while demonstrating the love of our perfect Father in a way that she has never known. Jennifer didn’t know the love of her father growing up but has since learned to forgive and reconcile with him. Jennifer believes it’s become easier for people to give up and walk away than it is to commit and fight for their family.
Her dedication to her family and community is evident in the way she continuously gives of herself. This humanitarian desires for people to know the reality of the homeless community. There are many reasons why people find themselves homeless—from drug addiction to loss of employment. Homeless communities are constantly judged and labeled, which is why Jennifer want others to see their value and worth. Jennifer hopes that instead of judging, people will begin to bring Jesus to the homeless in the form of a hot meal, blanket, or a conversation. Jennifer recalls a fellow sister in Christ mentoring troubled teens in their community. Jennifer’s friend was able to see past their shortcomings and help them to envision a new life for themselves filled with hope. These teens were able to get off the streets, obtain jobs, and stay out of trouble because someone took the time to pour into them.
I truly believe goodness and love changes people!
This remarkable woman is inspiring people across the world. She is also fueled by the inspiration of others, like her friend Tajuan McCarty. Tajuan is the founder of the Well House. She aids in the rescue of trafficked women. Tajuan was trafficked at an early age. She now travels the globe informing men and women of the dangers and reality of human trafficking. Jennifer loves her ability to love the pimp and prostitute! To Jennifer, Tajuan exemplifies the perfect love of Jesus!
As she is living out her dreams, Jennifer’s advice to those of you with a dream is:
DO IT AFRAID! If you feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit calling you out, answer that call with boldness. God has already ordered your steps to greatness; you just have to be willing to take that first step. Even if you’re afraid, take that step in faith and watch God propel you to heights and places you have never dreamed!
With a heart of gold, Jennifer is creating a legacy that will impact generations to come. When leaving this earth, Jennifer wants people to remember that she was God’s love in the flesh. She wants to have loved every single person so well and poured the love of the Father into them so well that when she is gone, they will rejoice and not be grieved because she is with the Father who loves her; she wants them to say, “Because of her, I knew love, and I have hope!”
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