Thank You for Making a Second Chance Possible

Pat Youngquist | Interim Executive Director

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR COLUMN

THANK YOU FOR MAKING A SECOND CHANCE POSSIBLE

Thank you to everyone who helped make Raising Hope such a successful event in April. Your generosity provided of $100,000 of support to Union Mission.

When we talk about Raising Hope, we are talking about something that is at the core of what we do. We provide hope for those who are feeling hopeless. Homelessness and hopeless can be synonymous. Hope is something that can be hard to find on the streets. Mental illness, domestic abuse, family tragedy, job loss, and the struggles of addiction can sap hope from even the strongest hearts.

Your investment in Union Mission means we can provide hope in tangible ways. In 2016, your gifts helped to provide 28,103 nights of shelter to 474 men, women, and children. It helped provide 84,309 meals. And it helped 326 people find jobs – 94% of those jobs were above minimum wage.

By providing these services to people in need, we are providing hope and a message that our community cares. Your support of Union Mission translates into job placement, workforce development training through our Culinary Arts Program, and community-based mental health care for those with nowhere else to turn. Your help is work to address the underlying causes of homelessness in our community.

Thank you for sharing help and hope with those most in need through your support of Union Mission.

Choosing Hope: Shamaine’s Story

Choosing Hope: Shamaine’s Story

STORIES OF CHANGE

Shamaine

Shamaine

Photograph and Article by Maggie Lynn

For many, family is an incredible blessing in times of struggle. When the family itself is in crisis, the comfort of home can quickly transform into a battlefield. For Shamaine, fighting that battle threatened  not just her stability, but also that of her four year old son.

The grandfather who raised her passed away and her grandmother was diagnosed with dementia soon after. Shamaine quit her job to help provide family care, and though she was surrounded by family, she found herself all alone. The burden of caregiving, combined with the damaging habits of those in her family, took a heavy toll on Shamaine and her son.

The final straw came when family members refused to care for her grandmother for a few hours so she could sign her son  up for pre-kindergarten.

“He’s been picked on the lottery,” she told them. “If I don’t go sign him up, they will give his seat away.”

No one showed up and her son lost his space in the Pre-K class.

“I couldn’t keep doing it,” she said. “I had to get my life in order for the sake of my child.”

With her family spiraling out of control, she moved out of her grandmother’s house and moved in with her brother. But her brother’s house was no place for a young child and Shamaine then reached out to a friend she describes as like a sister to her. She was living with her friend when she learned about Union Mission.

 

Shamaine At Work

When Shamaine called to learn more about Magdalene House, she learned  about  the Culinary Arts Program . She applied and was accepted into the eight-week program, which put her on track to obtaining real-world kitchen skills and  a Serv-Safe  certification. It also put  her  one step closer to her  dream of someday opening  her  own  restaurant.

“Union Mission gives individuals a chance to relive a dream again,” she said. “It’s given me the strength to know that everybody will overcome obstacles but it’s up to you – you have to push and take the initiative.”

Shamaine’s next goal is to find a job, after which she hopes to go back to school, get her GED, and study business management. At Union Mission, she learned the skills to take on the challenges she’s facing – skills that will help her win her fight against homelessness.

“I’m going to fight in a different way. I’m going to fight with success,” Shamaine said.

Shamaine’s next goal is to find a job, after which she hopes to go back to school, get her GED, and study business management. At Union Mission, she learned the skills to take on the challenges she’s facing – skills that will help her win her fight against homelessness.

“I’m going to fight in a different way. I’m going to fight with success,” Shamaine said.

STORIES OF CHANGE

STORIES OF CHANGE