One important position is currently understaffed. The nightly greeter is a volunteer who comes every night before dinner and gathers information from the previous night’s volunteers, staffers and coordinators to brief the oncoming crew. She also offers a familiar friendly face to the guests each evening as they arrive and have dinner. She brings the hospitality of our whole parish to our vulnerable guests. We have a very dedicated individual who is currently the only greeter and we need a partner for her to avoid burn-out.
We recently hosted four Growing Home families in June. Over one hundred volunteers gave their time to make that successful. Even more people donated food, gift cards, bedding and toiletries to assist the families. And all this effort really does make a difference.
Please read this wonderful Growing Home success story:
It is difficult to get back on your feet when you do not have the support of your family, friends being unable to help because of their own difficulties, and the system turning you down simply because you were born on the wrong side of the border. For a long time, Martha lived a life of misery. Her marriage of 16 years consisted of constant emotional attacks by her husband and the rest of her family seemed estranged. Martha and her family had the basic requirements to live. They had food, water, and a place to live but even then Martha was not able to call this place her home due to the constant abuse. When her husband got deported Martha followed in an attempt to save the marriage but the abuse persisted. For the sake of her children, Martha took a leap of faith and decided to leave her husband and come back to the United States. While in the U.S, she stayed with a cousin in Texas. Things in Texas were difficult so Martha had to leave and come to Colorado. While in Colorado she sought refuge with her sister. She did not feel comfortable staying at her sister’s place and her sister’s husband’s demeanor made it less appealing for Martha to wish to stay there. He would constantly look down on Martha and her kids as if they owed him their lives. Things took a turn for the worse when even Martha’s sister was unable to comfortably stay in the same house as her own husband so Martha, her kids, and her sister moved out and into a cousin’s house. Her cousin lived in affordable housing therefore, due to lack of resources and commodity, Martha had to leave and was forced to seek help at Growing Home.
I remember the first time Martha walked into Growing Home. It seemed like she was incapable of trusting that help would actually be granted to her because of the experiences she had prior to Growing Home. Martha was skeptical and it was understandable that she doubted the helping hand we offered. Her husband had emotionally tortured her for years and now, for the first time in over 16 years, she had to provide for her children alone. During her stay at Growing Home we helped Martha by providing her sustainability. We helped her get through her difficulties by showing her that there are caring people out there willing to do anything to see her succeed. She would often talk about the volunteers and how kindhearted they were toward her and her family. During her stay in our program, Martha was able to get her own car. She reunited with her oldest son when he decided to come back from Mexico and was admitted into Growing Home. During her time at Growing Home, Martha also received her ITIN number and followed up with all dental appointments for her children, something that she had not been able to do in a while. Martha became well acquainted in our program that she became a main support for Blanca, another family in Canopy. She was finally able to save up enough money to be stable when she moved out and when the time finally arrive, Martha and her family were able to get a new place of their own to call home.
Martha now knows that there are people out there who are willing to help. She knows that there are volunteers who take time out of their lives to do everything they can with love and compassion to make people feel at home during their stay at Growing Home. Martha is now economically and emotionally stable enough to provide a better future for herself and for her children. During our last meeting together at the apartment complex where she was going to be staying at, Martha gave me the most sincere hug of appreciation and very enthusiastically walked off ready to start this new chapter of her life. This is yet another family whose life is guided by Growing Home in our constant battle against poverty.
If you are ready to take the next step and want to get involved with our shelter ministry, there are two more opportunities this year. We will begin asking for volunteers to sign-up online about 4-6 weeks before the families come. We will announce when those sign-ups are available and have links to them here on the webpage and in the weekly bulletin. We will also have pen and paper sign-ups in the gathering space two weeks before the hosting week.