LIVING A LIFE FULL OF GRATITUDE

Union Mission recognized Selina Johnson for her 25 years of service to the community of Savannah.

 

Article by Emily Bressler

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LIVING A LIFE FULL OF GRATITUDE

Union Mission was invited to participate in honoring 92-year old Selina Johnson during a retirement celebration in October for her tireless efforts in providing over 117,000 meals to the community of Savannah for 25 years.

The volunteer group at St. Thomas Episcopal Church known as the “Unseen Guest,” was founded and led by Johnson. Their mission is to prepare healthy meals for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

Johnson originally started working with patients during the peak of the HIV/AIDs epidemic in the early 1990’s when she was drawn to the misunderstanding and mistreatment that individuals were receiving from others. “I first started working with HIV
individuals while I was in industrial nursing,” said Johnson. “We had five men in our department that were HIV positive and I
remember everyone being so nasty to them because they didn’t understand the dangers of the disease at that time.”

When Johnson retired from nursing in 1992 after 45 years of service, she knew that she couldn’t stop helping people. She had
seen first-hand how important proper diets were to individuals living with HIV/AIDS. The idea of the “Unseen Guest” was born with 6 volunteers providing ten meals a month. Today, this group has grown to 26 volunteers who now prepare 350 meals a month for the Phoenix Project at Union Mission, a housing and supportive services program for persons living with HIV/AIDS.

After a quarter of a century of providing her services, Johnson retired, passing the  leadership torch to fellow volunteer, Angie Nichuals. “It’s going to be tough filling her shoes but we are all very enthusiastic about serving the community of people that need us,” said Nichuals. “It’s an exciting feeling to embark on this next chapter.”

Help Provide a Fresh Start

Your donation can help someone rebuild their lives and leave homelessness behind. Your gift today can change lives and provide hope for a better tomorrow.

 

World Homeless Day

World Homeless Day logo

 

Article by Amber Mitchell, Intern

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World Homeless Day

World Homeless Day is an annual international event that occurs on the 10th of October to observe and spread awareness surrounding homelessness (World Homeless Day, n.d.). According to HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report, in 2018, there were roughly 553,000 experiencing homelessness in the United States. Of that, more than 56,000 families with children were experiencing homelessness (HUD, 2018). In Georgia, although there was a decrease, there were still an estimated 6,943 people experiencing homelessness (HUD, 2018).

Did you know that Chatham County is the 2nd most homeless-populated area in Georgia? In fact, during the 2019 point-in-time count, 686 people were identified as homeless in Chatham County (Homeless Authority, 2019). World Homeless Day is a time to reflect on homelessness in our community, its causes, and how to make a difference. There are many ways to get involved! Union Mission partners with people to end and prevent their homelessness through housing and supportive services. And we need your help! Volunteering, donating, and advocating are ways to support our clients and our work in the homeless community. Partner with us today, and make a difference! #worldhomelessday

References

Homeless Authority. (2019). About Homelessness. Retrieved from https://www.homelessauthority.org/about-homelessness/

HUD. (2018). The 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress. Retrieved from https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2018-AHAR-Part-1.pdf

World Homeless Day. (n.d.). History. Retrieved from http://www.worldhomelessday.org/

Help Provide a Fresh Start

Your donation can help someone rebuild their lives and leave homelessness behind. Your gift today can change lives and provide hope for a better tomorrow.

 

UNION MISSION PARTNERS WITH THE SAVANNAH BANANAS

UNION MISSION PARTNERS WITH THE SAVANNAH BANANAS

Union Mission Executive Director, Patricia Youngquist and Marketing Coordinator, Emily Bressler

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UNION MISSION PARTNERS WITH THE SAVANNAH BANANAS

The Savannah Bananas hosted Union Mission as their featured non- profit this past June. This partnership allowed Union Mission the opportunity to earn a portion of all ticket sales. “We enjoyed talking with community members about Union Mission and our staff had fun with attendees participating in our ‘raffle pong’ game,” said Executive Director, Patricia Youngquist. “Thanks to the community’s continued support, Union Mission was able to generate $1,100 from ticket sales, raffle and donations.”

GIVE WITH CONFIDENCE

Union Mission is a registered 501(C)3 non-profit organization. 85¢ of every dollar donated is used for housing and supportive services that help partner with people to end their homelessness.

WHY HAMMERS DO NOT BUILD HOUSES

WHY HAMMERS DO NOT BUILD HOUSES

Union Mission Director of Operations, Josua Rine, speaking at TEDxSavannah 2019

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TEDXSAVANNAH
WHY HAMMERS DO NOT BUILD HOUSES

This past June, the staff, volunteers, and sponsors of TEDxSavannah put on a day-long event that gave individuals and organizations in Savannah a platform to meet, share ideas and collaborate. Union Mission’s Director of Operations, Josua Rine, was one of individuals selected to take the stage at the event to speak about a subject that he is deeply passionate about—housing the chronically homeless.

 

 

“My hope is that those in attendance and those who watched the talk on YouTube were left contemplating “why hammers do not build houses, that ballots do,” said Rine. “Until the voters of our community demand that our elected officials, business leaders, and social service providers build, operate and maintain a more robust stock of planned, non-segregated affordable housing in our community, we will continue to have community members that live without a house. However, I am confident that Savannah can shape the synergy required to produce a robust stock of affordable housing, making a positive and progressive impact on our homeless population.” 

GIVE WITH CONFIDENCE

Union Mission is a registered 501(C)3 non-profit organization. 85¢ of every dollar donated is used for housing and supportive services that help partner with people to end their homelessness.

An Attitude of Gratitude

An Attitude of Gratitude

Event Honorees: Don and Kaye Kole
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AN ATTIDUE OF GRATITUDE
Thank you to everyone that made Union Mission’s 4th annual fundraiser, Raising Hope, a huge success. Together we raised over $250,000 to help support homeless individuals here in our local community. The event gave Union Mission the opportunity to recognize two long-time community advocates, Don and Kaye Kole. We also heard from former Mayor of Albuquerque, NM, Richard Berry, who praised UMI for their cutting edge efforts to improve the current state of homelessness in Savannah and encouraged the 400 philanthropy-minded community members in attendance to continue helping those most in need.
We are grateful for our passionate and committed donors, volunteers and supporters. They play an integral role in ensuring that UMI can continue to provide emergency shelter, clinical mental health counseling, permanent supportive housing,  HIV/AIDS   services, and culinary arts training to local community members in need.

GIVE WITH CONFIDENCE

Union Mission is a registered 501(C)3 non-profit organization. 85¢ of every dollar donated is used for housing and supportive services that help partner with people to end their homelessness.

Raising Hope: Richard Berry as Keynote Speaker

Raising Hope: Richard Berry as Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker: Richard J. Berry, former mayor of Albuquerque, NM

Initiator of “There’s a Better Way” to end homelessness

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RICHARD BERRY TO KEYNOTE

Keynote speaker for Raising Hope, Richard Berry, brings to Savannah years of experience and success implementing innovative strategies to reduce homelessness.

As two-term mayor of Albuquerque, Mr. Richard Berry advanced initiatives to provide daily work and housing for the homeless, programs he respectively named “There’s A Better Way” and “Albuquerque Heading Home.” Mr. Berry’s TedxTalk on the subject of homelessness has received over 1.1 million views..

During his time as mayor, Mr. Berry served as chairman of the US Conference of Mayors Metro Economies Committee and as chairman of the Community Leaders of America (CLA). Before being elected as Mayor of Albuquerque, Mr. Berry also served in the New Mexico House of Representatives.

ABOUT RAISING HOPE: Scheduled for Thursday, May 9, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Savannah, Raising Hope is chaired by Ginna Carroll. Attracting over 300 business and community leaders, Raising Hope is Union Mission’s largest fundraiser, providing support for short and long-term housing, mental health counseling, culinary job training and much more. For sponsorship or ticket information, contact Mark Toth, Director of Strategy & Development, at 248-770-3933 or Mtoth@unionmission.org.