Sometimes the holiday season is the darkest time of the year. It was that case for a lot of clients AND volunteers last year. But one volunteer took what was supposed to be a sad holiday and with the help of the Lord, made it memorable for the guests in the shelter: “As we were concluding our weekly Bible study one Wednesday, I asked the ladies living at the transitional house if they had any Thanksgiving plans. The feeling in the room quickly shifted. The ladies’ countenances went from incredible joy, having just enjoyed a wonderful study and discussion of the 13th chapter in the book of John, to a heaviness and sorrow. For some, tears began to flow, and others grew quiet. As I began to probe a bit I learned that as blessed as they feel to be living in the house, this year they would not be enjoying a “Hallmark” Thanksgiving with their families. For some, distance would prohibit them from being with their family. For others, broken relationships would be the cause. This Thanksgiving my husband and I were going to be alone due to both of those reasons. We had decided that an early dinner at J’s diner and some football on TV would be the extent of our festivities this year. When one of the ladies exclaimed that she would be at the house and anyone else who wanted to join her could. She said that she would be making potato salad. I asked [...]
When we met Teresa she was severely traumatized after experiencing homelessness. She had worked her whole life and due to severe, drug-resistant depression, she found herself without a job and no place to live. “I’ve had so many jobs in my life. I’ve worked since I was 15, I’ve been on my own since I was 17, I’ve always had a job.” Her situation was incredibly difficult to process. She was admitted into the Transitional Living Program (TLP) and upon arrival rated herself a 0 out of 10. She struggled to make eye contact with anyone, and due to anxiety and depression could barely complete the smallest task. Through constant support and coaching from the Love INC staff, Teresa began to see changes both inside and out. She started walking outside most days, applying for jobs and going to Relational Ministry and other community classes to interact with other people in our community going through similar situations. Cooking, completing house chores and yard work became a regular activity. She started to volunteer at local service agencies while looking for work. Our Transitional Living Coach even commented “Teresa is looking the best she has since arriving here almost 10 months ago. She is on task and engaged!” The most exciting (among many) moment came when Teresa was hired at a service agency to be a resource advocate for Homeless and Housing! “God has put me in a position to be a resource advocate for homeless and housing! Getting me back out [...]
When “Sabrina” first entered the Transitional Living Program (TLP) at the Newberg Community Shelter, she was in a state of shock. Her mother passed away, she was injured on the job and was a victim of domestic violence in the same year. There was a moment where Sabrina decided enough was enough and wanted to change her life. She maintained her sobriety and followed her individual success plan through bouts of depression and illness. Sabrina enrolled in the Ready to Rent Class and worked with Goodwill Job Connections, and within a few months of hard work she finally got a job! She is now starting work full time this week as an employee at a local manufacturing plant here in Newberg. We could not be more excited for Sabrina’s continued recovery and success! “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” -2 Corinthians 4:8-9
When we first met “Dawn,” her life was unstable and chaotic. She was staying at friend’s houses or hotels while trying to find a job to keep her and her children’s lives afloat. When she had to give her children up to the foster care system, she knew it was time to get some help. Once Dawn was admitted into the Transitional Living Program (TLP), she felt immediate relief. Melanie, the Transitional Living Coach, was able to give her realistic goals to be able to get her back on her feet again. “I didn’t have anybody to help me before, Melanie gave me hope. I had a sense of purpose.” Dawn, Melanie and Kim during one of their regular meetings When Melanie saw Dawn’s drive to not only get her life back on track but to regain custody of her children, she knew exactly who would be the best mentor for Dawn. Kim has a similar story and has been successfully living on her own with her children since leaving the shelter almost three years earlier. With Melanie and Kim by her side, in just six months Dawn was able to find and keep a job, save enough money to move into her own house and is well on her way to getting her kids back. Praise God! When asked how her relationship with God was before and after her time in the TLP, “I was kind of close to God, but now I’m reading my Bible more [...]
We were so sad to say goodbye to the Resident Managers at the shelter! We are so grateful for the time Katelyn and Miranda have devoted to the women participating in the Transitional Living Program. They have sacrificed a lot to live in the shelter and be a positive Christian influence on the women. We pray as they move on to their next adventures that they remain devoted to the Lord and use what they have learned in this position to continue to serve with loving hearts and minds. God bless you!!
When Charlotte and Cameron found out that their night to provide a meal at the shelter was happening on New Year's Eve, they decided to go all out! Cameron is a gourmet cook, so they gave the guests a night to remember. Here's what Charlotte had to say: "It went off without a hitch! Cameron & I dressed in our chef's aprons and set the table with a tablecloth, cloth place mats and candles, and we served a five course dinner with each course served separately. We also had sparkling cider in champagne glasses. It seemed to go really well and everyone enjoyed it. It was a great New Year's Eve with the ladies!"
It is part of the mission of the Newberg Community Shelter to connect the women experiencing homelessness with organizations in the community who can help them. When we got this note from an employee at Goodwill Job Connection, we had to share it: "I just want to say Thank you for all you do. I have seen the gals [in the shelter] come to me just hopeless and depressed and to see where they are now is just amazing! They are full of faith and hope. I really appreciate you referring these great gals over to me and I have enjoyed getting to know them over the past several months! Again, Thank you for all you do to make a difference in their lives." “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”—1 John 4:12
As access to affordable housing has continued to be a top need in the Newberg community Love INC has been engaged in conversations with local churches over the past several months about what specifically they can be doing to help. We are excited to announce that Hillside Fellowship is the second church, in what we hope will be many more to come, to partner with us to address housing needs. They focus exclusively on the 18-30 year-old young adults in our community who need a place to “rest, heal and grow.” Their transitional program, Hillside Inn, has been operating similarly to the Love INC shelter and so it is a natural fit for us to begin collaborating deeper with one another. Hillside Inn will serve as a referral for Love INC clients and Hillside guests will have better access to Love INC services and resources. Together, we will be continuing to do our part to provide housing opportunities for young adults and single women in the community through a Christian environment. As Hillside has come on board we have received a generous financial donation from Northside Community Church to strengthen both existing shelter services. Red Hills Church also continues to provide the Love INC shelter’s house free of charge! Pastor Jeff Getsinger (Northside) and Pastor Shane Crawford (C3) have been working closely with Heath Placek (Love INC ED) in the larger vision of our initiative which is to see other churches meet the unaddressed areas of homelessness in Newberg. Stay [...]
When Maggie first entered the Newberg Community Shelter, she felt lost. “My mother had just passed away and she was my whole purpose. I didn’t know how I was going to survive. I really felt like doing harm to myself. I felt like I wasn’t worth living.” But God had been with Maggie step-by-step through a difficult divorce, losing custody of her daughter, and eventually the death of her mother. Now through the shelter she had an opportunity to get back on track. Signing the check for her first month's rent! “Even in the darkest and lowest of times, this place saved my life. There was always a tiny little seed that said you are better than this, and that was God.” Though the first time Maggie left the shelter resulted in her moving back, it was another life lesson that prepared her for the journey. This time she was able to accomplish the tasks our Transitional Living Coach, Melanie Harrison, had assigned and participate in other programs to help her succeed. “Maggie has been a blessing to me, she went above and beyond what we asked of her in her individual success plan,” commented Harrison. Recently, Maggie secured a new apartment! While working with YCAP, they were able to provide Maggie’s security deposit. Recognizing her hard work, a team from Newberg Christian Fellowship volunteered to help her move and capped the day off with a celebratory meal from Pogy’s. “I didn’t even know how to talk to [...]
One of our shelter guests recently had her car break down, which has deterred her from going on job interviews and attending appointments throughout the community. Vocational Rehab partnered with Love INC and connected her with Precision Auto to do the repairs. They completed the work and even gave us a great deal! “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8