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,