Quarterly Shelter Notes: December 2016

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (NIV)
The blessing of winter is upon us and soon we celebrate the birth of our salvation! I have always enjoyed this time of year. I have many fond memories of bundling up to play in the snow with friends and neighbors, sledding wherever we could find a slippery slope, and most of all coming home to the steamy windows of a warm house to shed wet gloves and boots. Winter in general, and Christmas specifically, holds a special place in my childhood. I am thankful to have positive memories of this time of year, I know not everyone does. Many of the people we come in contact with would just as soon skip over late November, December, and jump right into mid January. As an adult I understand how this time of year can be very difficult for so many reasons. It’s easy for us to get caught up in the flurry of Christmas parties, gift hunting, family get-togethers, ugly sweaters and eggnog without recognizing the people hurting right in front of us. A friend of mine (and former shelter resident) told me the other day that he has always preferred to stay blind drunk during the holidays to avoid the pain of seeing the seasonal cheer everywhere he looked. It was a good reminder that Satan is actively at war trying to destroy, corrupt, and pollute everything he can get his hands on, this season is no exception. Please pray for those in your communities and ours that have yet to know the peace that comes with the knowledge of the everlasting love of the Father. The people that we can pray for are right in front of us, our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family, actively attacked with the lies that the peace they want so badly can be found either in isolation from God or through their own hard work. I say all this not because I am discouraged but because I am encouraged that we should continue to do whatever work is placed in front of us to live out our faith as an encouragement that, “Every good and perfect gift is from above…”. Time spent in prayer on someone’s behalf is one of the most precious gifts you can give this season.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (NIV)
I hope your Christmas is wonderful! We are blessed to be able to spend it with friends and family. We have so much to be thankful for, first and foremost the blessing of a living God through whom we can find hope and peace.
In His Service,

Micah Dewing

Shelter Director

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Quarterly Shelter Notes: September 2016

1st Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (HCSB)

Summer has wound down and fall is upon us at last. As the summer activities have diminished, our resident caseload has increased. We generally start to see an increase of residents in the fall as people consider the changing weather. We are tying up the last few loose ends of summer and preparing for fall and winter activities. The leaves are just starting to change colors and the weather is starting to get consistently cooler. We have yet to have a hard frost but it is not far away.

Jonah is in the middle of his freshman year of football, starting on the JV team and filling in on special teams for varsity. He is enjoying the first few weeks of high school. He is already coming home to tell us what he learned in Spanish class or how easy Math is going to be this year (I’ll believe it when I see the grades at the end of the quarter). He went duck/goose hunting for the first time this year, brought home several ducks and two geese. He is currently in camouflage from head to toe, face all painted up, bow hunting for whitetail deer as I write this. He loves spending time outside and hanging out with his brother.

Chase is loving college! He enjoys working with metal and is totally in his element learning what it takes to be a machinist. He continues to work about 20 hours a week while going to school full time. Michelle and I don’t usually see him until he comes home from class in the evenings. He spends his weekends fishing or hunting with his friends or spending time with his girlfriend Brooke. He had been saving his money to buy a woods truck (his car gets great gas mileage but isn’t suited for mud), and a few weeks ago he found one with enough miles on it to fit into his very limited budget. I’m not sure what color it is underneath the rust and mud but the exhaust is just loud enough to hear him pull in the driveway without waking the neighbors. Oh, to be eighteen again.

Michelle and I built a chicken coop this summer and she is absolutely spoiling seven rather ornery hens. We get eggs out of the deal so I’m excited. I am hoping to harvest a little honey this fall. One of my hives did well while the other hive took the summer off I think. Michelle’s women’s bible study group has started again this fall and she is excited and encouraged to get together with ladies from the community for fellowship and spiritual food. I continue to lead the singing/worship portion of Church services on Sunday. Benjamin and I fill in for dad when he is required elsewhere. Our regular Wednesday night Bible study started back up a few weeks ago and we continue our men’s group every Friday morning.

Things here at the shelter are busy. We have one single man and three single women in emergency shelter, and 2 single men in transitional housing. In August we hired a part-time case manager to help out with our caseload. Her name is Ilirijana and she is doing a great job. Kathy and Russ continue to do an incredible job handing most of the everyday needs of the residents. It is such a blessing to have brothers and sisters in Christ that work very well together to split the workload so no one of us is overwhelmed. We continue to do a lot of transportation for our residents. Thankfully this year fuel prices are still lower than they have been in a few years. We are serving a total of six households, occupying all of our four apartments. We do have a couple of empty beds so we don’t have to turn people away, but we get calls almost every day. Overall things are going smoothly here at the shelter; our program participation numbers are consistent through these last six years. We encourage our residents to join us in church, bible studies, and fellowship groups but they are not required to attend. Some of our residents are interested in the discussions and message while too many are not. All we can do is provide the opportunity.

In the last six years we have served more than 200 residents providing over 10,000 shelter nights. Annually we typically receive approximately 120 calls from people looking for shelter. We continue to average about five residents per night. We continue to help people transitioning from jail, rehab, and probation/parole providing a stable supervised place from which they could find employment and seek housing. Please keep in prayer our staff as we struggle to reach out to our residents. We are praying for opportunities to minister to not only their physical needs but also their spiritual needs. Please continue to pray for our residents as they struggle to grasp hold of stability and sobriety. Please keep in prayer our staff/volunteers and their families.

Thank you for your continued prayers. It is through your persevering faith in God’s ministry here that we are able to keep doing His work in our community. We are so thankful for your donations of time spent in prayer on our behalf, the gifts of day-to-day supplies, and your generosity of financial support that keeps us moving forward in HIS perfect plan.

In His Service,

Micah Dewing

Shelter Director

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Quarterly Shelter Notes: June 2016

Psalm 80:19  O Lord God of hosts, restore us; Cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved. (HCSB)

Summer here is both beautiful and crazy. It always feels too short so we spend as much time as possible appreciating the warm weather. We generally have fewer shelter residents during the summer, which gives us more time for building repairs, work groups, youth group trips, and camps. Baseball season is winding down, and the water is just starting to get warm enough to enjoy without chattering teeth. We are hoping to get some camping and canoeing time in this summer.

Our oldest son Chase graduated from high school a few weeks ago and is excited for college in the fall. He is going to school to be a machinist. He is currently working in a welding, machining, and fabricating shop full time. Jonah is now officially done with middle school and starts as a freshman in the fall. He is excited to go fishing as much as possible this summer. He recently started mowing lawns as a job this summer to earn a little extra fishing money. Michelle finished her college courses for the year making the Dean’s List with a 4.0. Her women’s bible study group takes the summer off. She has been enjoying a little gardening and tending to her flowers this spring. I continue to lead the singing/worship portion of Church services on Sunday. Our regular Wednesday night Bible study takes the summer off but we continue our men’s group every Friday morning. We have a summer full of birthdays, Chase turns 18, Jonah turns 14, and Michelle turns 29 (again). Jonah goes into high school, Chase goes to college, and Michelle and I have our 20th wedding anniversary this fall. 2016 is shaping up to be a busy year for all of us!

Things here at the shelter are going well. We have 1 single guy in emergency shelter and 2 men in transitional housing. We are still looking for a part time case manager to help out with our caseload. We were recently blessed with the gift of a vehicle donated to the shelter for help with transportation! We continue to do a lot of transportation for our residents and need to retire at least one of our shelter cars. Thankfully this year fuel prices are still lower than they have been in a few years. We are serving a total of 3 households, occupying 3 of our 4 apartments. We do have a couple of empty beds so we don’t have to turn people away, but we get calls almost every day. Overall things are going smoothly here at the shelter; our program participation numbers are consistent through these last 5 years. We encourage our residents to join us in church, bible studies, and fellowship groups but they are not required to attend. Some of our residents are interested in the discussions and message while too many are not. All we can do is provide the opportunity.

We are into the 3rd quarter of our 6th year of emergency shelter operations. We’ve provided 1,258 nights of shelter with 24 residents. LAST YEAR TOTAL we provided 1,791 nights of shelter, just under FY 12/13, 1,848 nights of shelter. ALL TIME YTD: 9,876 nights of shelter. LAST YEAR TOTAL we served 36 total residents including 20 single men, 4 single women and 3 families comprising 12 people. ALL TIME we have served 197 total residents. Annually we typically receive approximately 120 calls from people looking for shelter. We continue to average about 5 residents per night. We have had up to 12 people here at a time. We continue to help people transitioning from jail, rehab, and probation/parole providing a stable supervised place from which they could find employment and seek housing. We have expanded and maintained a great working relationship with the other service providers in our community to help families find the assistance and resources they need to move forward with stabilizing their lives. We average about 15,000 miles every year helping transport residents to doctor appointments, court dates, or even just to the grocery store.

Please keep in prayer our staff as we struggle to reach out to our residents. We are praying for opportunities to minister to not only their physical needs but also their spiritual needs. Please continue to pray for our residents as they struggle to grasp hold of stability and sobriety. Please keep in prayer our staff/volunteers families as we’ve had some family members pass away recently. Please continue to pray for our case manager position.

Thank you for your continued prayers. It is through your persevering faith in God’s ministry here that we are able to keep doing His work in our community. We are so thankful for your donations of time spent in prayer on our behalf, the gifts of day-to-day supplies, and your generosity of financial support that keeps us moving forward in HIS perfect plan.

 

In His Service,

Micah Dewing

Shelter Director

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Quarterly Shelter Notes: March 2016

Psalm 40:1-3  I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. (NIV)

The weather here is just beginning to show some signs of warmth. Within the next few weeks what little snow we had will have melted away. When I think of spring I think of mud. As an adult I dislike mud. As a child I loved it. We would ride our pieced-together bicycles through every puddle we could find, slinging rooster tails of muddy water as high into the sky as we could, leaving a muddy streak up the backs of our shirts. We played in the streams of melt-water running in the ditches, floating stick-boats into the culverts then racing to the other side of the road to watch them emerge spinning. We would follow them downstream as far as we could, over rocks and logs and driveways, never minding all the grown-up considerations of whose backyard we might be walking through, how we might be wrecking our school shoes, or that we were not supposed to ditch our little brothers and sisters, even though they slowed us down. Forty-five degrees felt like eighty to our pale winter arms. As far as we were concerned it was t-shirt weather. When we got home our mothers were none too happy with us but we were too exhilarated (and wet) to care. Nowadays I do not appreciate wet shoes, mud stained shirts, or washed out driveways as much as I once did. My sons are a little past that stage but I think I am going to find some time this spring to encourage some of my nieces and nephews to explore the same muddy ditches I enjoyed as a child. Spring is upon us, get out and enjoy the mud!

My wife, Michelle, continues to stay busy with work, taking a few college courses, and facilitating a women’s bible study group. I continue to lead the singing/worship portion of Church services on Sunday and we all enjoy our Wednesday night Bible study. I am thankful for our men’s group every Friday morning. Chase (12th grade) and Jonah (8th grade) are both excited about spring and busy with school. We are gearing up for Chase’s graduation from high school in 3 short months and planning for his college in the fall. He will be going to a technical school here in the area, studying to be a machinist. He currently works in a welding and machine shop and comes home filthy dirty every evening and loves it. We have a summer full of birthdays, Chase turns 18, Jonah turns 14, and Michelle turns 29 again. Jonah goes into high school and Michelle and I have our twentieth wedding anniversary this fall. 2016 is shaping up to be a busy year for all of us!

Things here at the shelter are going well. We have 2 single ladies and a father/daughter family in emergency shelter and 2 men in transitional housing. The family is currently transitioning out of the shelter and into another housing program here locally. We have one of our shelter residents coming back to work at the shelter as part of an internship/job placement program. We continue to do a lot of transportation for our residents. Thankfully this year fuel prices are lower than they have been in a few years. We are serving a total of 5 households, occupying all 4 of our apartments. We do have a couple of empty beds so we don’t have to turn people away, but we get calls almost every day. Overall things are going smoothly here at the shelter; our program participation numbers are very consistent over the last 5 years. We encourage our residents to join us in church, bible studies, and fellowship groups but they are not required to attend. Some of our residents are interested in the discussions and message while too many are not. All we can do is provide the opportunity.

We just finished the 1st half of our 6th year of emergency shelter operations. For the 1st half we provided 913 nights of shelter with 18 residents. LAST YEAR TOTAL we provided 1,791 nights of shelter, just under FY 12/13, 1,848 nights of shelter. ALL TIME YTD: 9,531 nights of shelter. LAST YEAR TOTAL we served 36 total residents including 20 single men, 4 single women and 3 families comprising 12 people. ALL TIME we have served 190 total residents. Annually we typically receive approximately 120 calls from people looking for shelter. We continue to average about 5 residents per night. We have had up to 12 people here at a time. We continue to help people transitioning from jail, rehab, and probation/parole providing a stable supervised place from which they could find employment and seek housing. We have expanded and maintained a great working relationship with the other service providers in our community to help families find the assistance and resources they need to move forward with stabilizing their lives. We average about 15,000 miles every year helping transport residents to doctor appointments, court dates, or even just to the grocery store.

Please keep in prayer our staff as we struggle to reach out to our residents. We are praying for opportunities to minister to not only their physical needs but also their spiritual needs. Please continue to pray for our residents as they struggle to grasp hold of stability and sobriety. My prayer is that they come to realize the true peace that comes not from an absence of conflict or struggle, but from the knowing faith of salvation and a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your continued prayers. It is through your persevering faith in God’s ministry here that we are able to keep doing His work in our community. We are so thankful for your donations of time spent in prayer on our behalf, the gifts of day-to-day supplies, and your generosity of financial support that keeps us moving forward in HIS perfect plan.

In His Service,

Micah Dewing

Shelter Director

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Quarterly Shelter Notes: December 2015

1 John 1:14 The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (HCSB)
Winter here is coming in like a lamb with mild temperatures and very little snow. While this is good for those of us who haven’t put up our Christmas lights yet, it will be nice to wake up to a clean blanket of snow covering everything one of these mornings. I think we are buttoned up and ready for cold and snow here at the shelter. My honeybees were nice enough to share about 90 lbs. of honey with me before their season was over. I am thankful to have honey to share with friends and family!
Michelle is staying busy taking some college courses and facilitating a women’s bible study group. I am thankful for our men’s group every Friday morning. Chase (12th grade) and Jonah (8th grade) are busy with school, wrestling, hunting, and other fall/winter activities. Michelle and I stay busy chasing them around. We are hoping to do a little ice fishing this winter and maybe a little skiing if I can find the ambition to dig my old skis out of the garage (I think that’s where I left them) (it’s been a couple of years). Michelle is getting excited to do some more snowshoeing this winter while I am excited at the idea of a warm quiet house and a good book. We never take for granted the blessing to live in a place where we can enjoy the change of seasons, the water, and the woods.
This winter may be starting with fewer residents, 3 in emergency shelter, 2 in transitional housing, but we aren’t any less busy for some reason. It seems like we are always running to one place or another, if it’s not the grocery store it’s the doctor, or a job interview, or to pick up a donation of food or clothing. This year we are on pace to put on over 20,000 miles of transportation. Thankfully we have dependable vehicles and reliable staff who work together to meet the needs of our residents. We have 2 single male residents and 1 single female staying with us right now. We have had several single men with us this summer but for the last couple months most of the calls we have received have been from single ladies and a few families. We just had a family of 5 check out last month. We have two single male participants in our Transitional Housing Program and they are doing well. We are serving a total of 5 households, occupying all 4 of our apartments. We do have a couple of empty beds so we don’t have to turn people away, but we get calls almost every day. Overall things are going smoothly here at the shelter; our program participation numbers are consistent year-over-year. I continue to lead the singing portion of Church services on Sunday and we are enjoying our Wednesday night Bible study. Some of our residents are interested in the discussions and message while too many are not. All we can do is provide the opportunity.
We just finished the 1st quarter of our 6th year of emergency shelter operations. For the 1st quarter we provided 573 nights of shelter with 12 residents. LAST YEAR TOTAL we provided 1,791 nights of shelter, just under FY 12/13, 1,848 nights of shelter. ALL TIME YTD: 9,191 nights of shelter. LAST YEAR TOTAL we served 36 total residents including 20 single men, 4 single women and 3 families comprising 12 people. ALL TIME we have served 184 total residents. Annually we typically receive approximately 120 calls from people looking for shelter. We continue to average about 5 residents per night. We have had up to 12 people here at a time. We continue to help people transitioning from jail, rehab, and probation/parole providing a stable supervised place from which they could find employment and seek housing. We have expanded and maintained a great working relationship with the other service providers in our community to help families find the assistance and resources they need to move forward with stabilizing their lives. We average about 15,000 miles every year helping transport residents to doctor appointments, court dates, or even just to the grocery store.
Please keep in prayer our staff; our case manager Gene, who continues to struggle with ongoing health issues after his heart attack, and our intern, Russ, who is adapting well to life after his abdominal abscess surgery. Both Gene and Russ are doing well but neither are pain or symptom free. Please continue to keep them both in your prayers. Kathy and I are staying busy. I am blessed to work with people doggedly determined to follow God’s plan for their lives while they live out their faith. Please continue to pray for our residents as they struggle to grasp hold of stability and sobriety. My prayer is that they come to realize the true peace that comes not from an absence of conflict or struggle, but from the knowing faith of salvation and a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your continued prayers. It is through your persevering faith in God’s ministry here that we are able to keep doing His work in our community. We are so thankful for your donations of time spent in prayer on our behalf, the gifts of day-to-day supplies, and your generosity of financial support that keeps us moving forward in HIS perfect plan.

In His Service,
Micah Dewing
Shelter Director

Psalms 63:3-4 My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life. So I will praise You as long as I live; at Your name, I will lift up my hands. (HCSB)

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Quarterly Shelter Notes: September 2015

I think fall is my favorite time of year. The temperature is just right, the scenery is beautiful, and there is a purpose to the days preparing for the upcoming winter. This year we have a few minor work projects to button up over the next several weeks. We are enjoying the beautiful late summer weather and spending the few remaining nice days outside. My honeybees are slowing down in preparation for a long winter. September is the time for harvesting honey and I hope to encourage my bees to share some with me this fall, maybe I’ll even have some honey to give away!
Michelle and I stay busy chasing our boys around to football games, homecoming parades, and trips into the woods to hunt for pictures or small game animals. We did manage to go camping a couple of times this summer as well. We never take for granted to blessing to live in a place where we can enjoy the change of seasons, the water, and the woods. Our oldest son Chase turned 17 this summer and has a full school/work schedule. He is a senior this year, going to school in the mornings and doing work study at a local machine shop in the afternoons. He is planning to go to college for CNC machining next fall. He loves welding, cutting and working with metal in general. Our youngest son, Jonah, turned 13 this summer and absolutely lives for fishing, hunting, and football. He is in 8th grade and enjoying his last year of middle school football before wrestling starts this winter. He has been scouting and planning hunting trips all summer and hopes to do some bow hunting this fall while it’s still warm before the regular gun deer season begins in November. He spends a lot of time with both his grandpas. It’s so nice to have family close to home.
Fall signals one of the busiest times of the year for us here at the shelter. It seems like we are always running to one place or another, if it’s not the grocery store it’s the doctor, or a job interview, or to pick up a donation of food or clothing. We typically put on 15,000 miles a year just running errands. Thankfully we have dependable vehicles and reliable staff who work together to meet the needs of our residents. We have 2 single female residents and a family of 5 staying with us right now. We have had several single men with us this summer but for the last couple months most of the calls we have received have been from single ladies and a few families. We have two single male participants in our Transitional Housing Program and they are doing well. We are serving a total of 5 households, occupying all 4 of our apartments. We do have a couple of empty beds, but they are getting scarce. Overall things are going smoothly here at the shelter, our program participation numbers are consistent year-over-year. We still have our Friday morning men’s group and are hoping to restart our Tuesday morning bible studies here at the shelter again. I have been leading the singing portion of Church services on Sunday and we are excited to take back up our Wednesday night Bible studies again during the school year. Some of our residents are interested in the discussions and message while too many are not. All we can do is provide the opportunity.
Praise the Lord we just finished our 5th year of emergency shelter operations! YTD we have provided 1,732 nights of shelter. LAST YEAR we provided 1,791 nights of shelter, just under FY 12/13, 1,848 nights of shelter. ALL TIME, 8,618 nights of shelter. YTD we have served 36 total residents including 20 single men, 4 single women and 3 families comprising 12 people. LAST YEAR we served 33 total residents including 19 single men, 2 single women, and 5 families comprising 12 people. ALL TIME we have served 175 total residents including 83 single men, 24 single women and 21 families comprising 68 people. YTD we have received approximately 123 calls from people looking for shelter. LAST YEAR we have received approximately 118 calls from people looking for shelter, just a few more than FY 12/13 with 101 and FY 11/12 with 105. We continue to average about 5 residents per night. We have had up to 12 people here at a time. We have helped people transitioning from jail, rehab, and probation/parole providing a stable supervised place from which they could find employment and seek housing. We have expanded and maintained a great working relationship with the other service providers in our community to help families find the assistance and resources they need to move forward with stabilizing their lives. We average 10,000 – 15,000 miles every year helping transport residents to doctor appointments, court dates, or even just to the grocery store.
Please keep in prayer our staff; our case manager Gene, who is recovering from triple bypass heart surgery, and our intern Russ who is recovering from abdominal abscess surgery. Both Gene and Russ are recovering well but are neither pain nor symptom free. Please keep them both in your prayers as they go through the recovery process. Kathy and I have been filling in as case managers while they recover.
Thank you for your continued prayers. It is through your persevering faith in God’s ministry here that we are able to keep doing His work in our community. We are so thankful for your donations of time spent in prayer on our behalf, the gifts of day-to-day supplies, and your generosity of financial support that keeps us moving forward in HIS perfect timing.

In His Service,
Micah Dewing
Shelter Director

Ephesians 6:18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.(HCSB)

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Quarterly Shelter Notes: June 2015

Summer is here and with it comes a flurry of activity. Some years we have several weeks worth of work groups, while other years only a couple. This year we have several work projects and they seem to all be happening on the same week. We are enjoying the good weather and the opportunity for Little League games in the ball field here at the shelter. My honeybees are alive and thriving, pollinating everything in sight. June is a time for swarms so I expect to split the hive before half of my bees seek alternate quarters. Maybe this year I will be able to harvest some honey to give away!
My wife Michelle and I have been busy getting ready for all the summer activities. We are hoping to go camping several times again this summer. We are blessed to live in a place where we can enjoy both the water and the woods, camping and kayaking, fishing and hiking. Michelle has been busy working in her garden, planting mostly flowers this year with the addition of a few strawberry plants. Our growing season is so short here, and rabbits and deer so plentiful, her vegetable garden has been more frustrating than fruitful. Our oldest son Chase will be 17 this summer and has a full work schedule. He just completed his junior year in high school and is working full time at a local machine shop for the summer. He is planning on doing work study this upcoming school year and looking to take some college courses in CNC machining. He loves welding, cutting and working with metal in general. Our youngest son Jonah will be 13 this summer and absolutely lives for fishing and hunting. He just finished the season shooting trap on the school’s trap team, and now is in his last year of Little League. He is going into 8th grade this fall and looking forward to football and wrestling.
We are busy as usual here at the shelter. It seems like we are always running to one place or another, if it’s not the grocery store it’s the doctor, or a job interview, or to pick up a donation of food or clothing. We typically put on 15,000 miles a year just running errands. Thankfully we have dependable vehicles and reliable staff who work together to meet the needs of our residents. We have four single male residents and one single female staying with us right now. We have had several single men check in and out in the last few months, some moving into apartments/houses of their own, while others not able to comply with our rules of absolute sobriety. We have two single male participants in our Transitional Housing Program and they are doing well. We are serving a total of 7 households, occupying all 4 of our apartments. We do have empty beds, but they are getting scarce. Overall things are going smoothly here at the shelter, our program participation numbers are consistent year-over-year. We still have our Friday morning men’s group and Friday afternoon ladies group and church services on Sunday but we suspend our Tuesday morning and Wednesday night Bible studies during the summer due to work groups and scheduling conflicts. Some of our residents are interested in the discussions and message while too many are not. All we can do is provide the opportunity.
The last 10 months have been both challenging and faith building. This year so far we have provided 1,456 nights of shelter, serving 29 total residents including 19 single men, 3 single women and 2 families comprising 7 people. We have received approximately 100 calls from people looking for shelter. We have been very busy with only an occasional lull in activity just long enough to regroup and do it all over again.
Please keep in prayer our staff, especially our case manager Gene, who is going in for triple bypass heart surgery later this week. He has had several heart attacks this spring and spent several days in the hospital on numerous occasions. Please keep him in your prayers as he undergoes surgery and the long recovery process throughout June and July. Kathy, Russ and I will be filling in as case management while he recovers. We are also happy to welcome a new intern to the shelter! Shayna comes to us through the Workforce Investment Act. She is working here at the shelter learning job skills and training to better equip her as she pursues her career goals. Right now she is helping out by baking bread every day for the food pantry, helping keep the pantry stocked, and working in the office answering phones and taking messages.
Thank you for your continued prayers. It is through your persevering faith in God’s ministry here that we are able to keep doing His work in our community. We are so thankful for your donations of time spent in prayer on our behalf, the gifts of day-to-day supplies, and your generosity of financial support that keeps us moving forward in HIS perfect timing.

In His Service,
Micah Dewing
Shelter Director

Jeremiah 17:5-8 This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” (NLT)

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Quarterly Shelter Notes: March 2015

Spring has sprung! It feels a little premature to make that declaration but the calendar says it’s time, the snow is melting, and sap is running and that’s good enough for me. We have had several days of warmer weather in the 50’s with the last few days cooling off a bit to highs in the 30’s. One of my colonies of honeybees survived the winter, while the other never built enough stores throughout the summer to sustain them. The colony that survived seems strong enough to make a productive summer of pollinating our shelter/pantry garden and gathering nectar. It feels a little cold and grey outside today but I know it won’t be long before we will smell the apple blossoms, taste the Juneberries, and hear the sounds of Little League in the ball field.
We have three single male residents staying with us right now. We had a family of three check out last week and another single man check out this week, some moving into apartments/houses of their own, while others not able to comply with our rules of absolute sobriety. The last two months we have seen a significant increase in calls from people looking for shelter. Spring is a transition time here where the harsh winter weather has abated but the summer work opportunities have not yet become available. We have one male participant in our Transitional Housing Program and he is doing well. Overall things are going smoothly here at the shelter. We have a Bible study on Tuesday morning’s here in the shelter office/library, a Wednesday night church Bible study, Friday morning men’s group, Friday afternoon ladies group, and church services on Sunday so there are many opportunities for our residents to hear the good news. Some of our residents are interested in the discussion and message while too many are not. All we can do is provide the opportunity.
The last 6 months have been both challenging and faith building. Going into December we had less than 2 months funding available to continue this ministry and were facing the very real possibility of major change here at the shelter. We were a little worried. God was not. Within the next three months we received over 24,000 dollars in small private donations, corporate donations, and community grants that seemingly came out of nowhere. A few days ago we received notice of a grant award from one of our annual grant program applications that will help sustain us through the end of the year. My prayer at that time was, and continues to be, that I have the courage to follow God’s plan for me with or without knowing what that plan looks like, ALWAYS trusting that God’s timing is perfect.
Lamentations 3:22-26 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. (KJV)
These words, written more than 2,500 years ago by the prophet Jeremiah, put to music as recently as the 1920’s, were the inspiration for my Grandmother’s favorite song. I can still hear her humming that tune as she busied about the kitchen, flour on her apron, licking icing from her fingers as she frosted a cake for someone’s wedding. I hear those words echo through time as I remember her singing that famous song in church with her distinctly beautiful voice, that once heard, is never forgotten. She passed away this January but leaves a legacy of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren raised to recognize God’s everlasting faithfulness. Never rich, she gave freely with everything she had; singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, cooking for neighbors, sewing, crocheting, quilting, spreading the gospel to everyone around her, sometimes even using words. Her trust was in God’s perfect timing for her life, her peace was in His faithfulness, and her willingness to do whatever she found in front of her was an inspiration to everyone she touched. She will be missed incredibly but I am so thankful for her influence in my life.
Isaiah 40:28-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV)
I used this verse in the last newsletter and you’ll forgive me for using it again. It encouraged me then, and it reassures me now, that we serve a living, everlasting, merciful God. It helps me understand that sometimes we will “soar on wings like eagles”, other times we will “run and not grow weary”, but even if all we can do today is walk, we will “walk and not be faint”, and that no matter what, “those that hope in the Lord will renew their strength”.
Thank you for your continued prayers. It is through your persevering faith in God’s ministry here that we are able to keep doing His work in our community. We are so thankful for your donations of time spent in prayer on our behalf, the gifts of day-to-day supplies, and your generosity of financial support that keeps us moving forward in HIS perfect timing.

In His Service,
Micah Dewing -Shelter Director

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

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Quarterly Shelter Notes: December 2014

This time of year is always interesting and fun, although I never know just what to expect. Some years have been very busy with activities, donations, food, and gifts several days a week while other years we have had very little going on. Some years the shelter is full to overflowing with children and families, while other years are very quiet with just a couple of single residents besides the staff. I’m not sure how busy Christmas is going to be this year. We have a few residents checking out before the holidays, some moving into apartments/houses of their own, some just reaching the end of their 90 days without much fruit for their efforts. In the end we have to trust that God’s timing is always perfect and that our reaction to that timing is opportunity for us to grow, lean on HIS understanding, and learn to accept change. Change is a part of growth and that is sometimes painful because we have an idea of what we think is going to happen but it doesn’t always turn out the way we expect. It helps remind us that only God knows and His plan is perfect.
We are facing the very real possibility of major change here at the shelter. We have seen our savings account drop dangerously low over the last few months until now we are within about 2 months of being completely out of funds to continue this ministry. We have talked about what programs we need to cut back first, Transitional Housing, Case Management, staff positions, and in the end we are trusting that we are in God’s hands. This new year may bring about some big changes. My prayer has been, and continues to be, that I have the courage to follow God’s plan for me without knowing what that plan looks like, however and wherever that ministry takes me. If it is in this Emergency Homeless Shelter ministry, then praise God I trust him to provide the means to continue in it. If it is in another area of ministry, then praise God I trust that he will open that door and lead me in that direction.
Isaiah 40:28-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV)
I hope your Christmas is wonderful! We are blessed to be able to spend it with friends and family. We have so much to be thankful for, first and foremost the blessing of a living God through whom we can find hope and peace.
In His Service, Micah Dewing -Shelter Director

Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians:
Ephesians 3:14-20 For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. (NIV)

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Quarterly Shelter Notes: September 2014

As the summer comes to an end, so does our fiscal year here and four years are in the books since we opened the doors of New Hope Shelter & Transitional Housing. Our fourth year has been a challenging and busy time with several high needs residents. It has been an exciting and stressful year filled with both challenges and rewards. We are again looking back at what we’ve done and looking at ways we can improve what we do over the next few years. We are thinking and praying about those who have stayed with us this last year and encouraged by the opportunity to minister to new residents in the upcoming year. We are tying up a lot of loose ends and summer construction projects around here getting ready for winter. The garden has been full and productive and the pantry busier than ever. Things are hectic but productive. Fall is historically our busiest time here at the shelter. We currently have 5 people staying with us; 4 single men and a single woman, with a family of 4 scheduled to check-in tomorrow. We recently had a family check out of one of our transitional housing apartments into a place of their own.
Over the last few years we are seeing an average develop of serving 35-40 residents per year here at the shelter. We have just entered into our 5th year as an Emergency Shelter program. This year we provided 1,791 nights of shelter, just under last years’ 1,848 nights of shelter. ALL TIME we’ve provided 6,886 nights of shelter. This year we served 33 total residents including 20 single men, 2 single women and 5 families comprising 11 people. ALL TIME we have served 142 people total, 68 single men, 20 single women and 19 families (54 people) This year we have received approximately 118 calls from people looking for shelter, just a few more than last years’ 101 (12/13), and the previous years’ 105 (11/12). We consistently receive an average of 8-10 calls per month. We continue to average about 5 residents per night. We have had up to 11 people here at a time this year. We have helped people transitioning from jail, substance abuse rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and probation/parole providing a stable supervised place from which they could find employment and seek housing. We have expanded and maintained a great working relationship with the other service providers in our community to help families find the assistance and resources they need to move forward with stabilizing their lives. This year we have logged over 15,000 miles helping transport residents to doctor appointments, court dates, or even just to the grocery store.
We are so thankful to be able to continue our Case Management program another year with Gene doing an excellent job. This splits the workload and helps our residents get the attention to detail that they need. We are also blessed to welcome Russ as a volunteer resident intern for this year. He is available 24/7, living on the premises, to help address the after-hours needs of the residents. He and Gene collaborate to help organize facility maintenance and grounds keeping duties among the residents. I am excited to have someone on staff here after-hours, it is something that has been on my heart for some time. We’ve continued our Transitional Housing program, signing another year-long lease for 2, 1 bedroom apartments here in town. We have had 8 households representing 12 people in this program and it has been an incredible compliment to our existing 90 day shelter plan, providing our residents that do well in our emergency shelter program the added flexibility of additional time to stabilize their lives. We also utilize these apartments as overflow or for special needs situations when residence in the main shelter isn’t possible. They have hardly been empty since we began in Jan 2012. As always, God’s timing is perfect. Kathy is still the rock holding down our office operations, handling most of the daily shelter needs, maintaining the food pantry database, handling donations, and phone calls, volunteering an incredible 30-40 hours per week for the last 3 years! We wouldn’t know what to do without her and are blessed to have her here with us. Margaret takes over for Kathy three days a week in the afternoons and shares in Friday’s food pantry volunteer rotation. All of our staff and volunteers do a wonderful job accepting and sorting donations, answering the phones, transporting residents to appointments, and volunteering their time in the food pantry to help keeping the shelter running smoothly, I absolutely could not do it without them.
We have again decided not to participate this year in the HUD funded, State run, Emergency Solutions Grant program. We are strongly considering whether or not to apply for the similar State Shelter Subsidy Grant program this fall. We are continuing to feel a strong conflict of interest between the state/federal run grant programs and our shelter mission statement. Most of the issue is that HUD is requiring that we limit the people we serve based on guidelines and requirements that were designed and suited towards an urban population. We find ourselves faced with the situation of denying service to applicants, based on HUD’s definition of homelessness, despite having available beds. If we accept even a dollar from that program, we have to adhere to all their guidelines and stipulations on how we spend EVERY dollar we receive, no matter the funding source. We cannot serve more people with these programs, we can serve less people with more paperwork. A sincere Thank You to those of you who have designated gifts to make up this shortfall.
We are EXCITED to begin a clothing collection/recycling drive where we are accepting any and all donations of clothes no matter the condition. We will box these donations up and when we have stock-piled a sufficient amount we call a shipper and are paid between .07 and .10 per pound for everything we collect. I am excited about this drive as another funding source for the shelter.
Please join with us in praise and prayer about this upcoming years funding. We continue to apply for other state and local grants and trust the Lord to provide for the ministry HE desires. Please keep in prayer our staff, community service volunteers, and our residents as we are presented with the opportunity to help share the Gospel and meet the needs of the families in our area.
THANK YOU to all who have donated time or supplies this past year, no donation is too large or too small. We couldn’t do what we do here without YOUR help. If there is a specific area that you feel led to make a donation towards, whether that’s cleaning supplies, work clothes for the residents, transportation costs, or food, let me know and we’ll make sure it gets used for that purpose. We are truly blessed to be doing HIS work with your help.
In His Service, Micah Dewing -Shelter Director

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