zAmya “Second Chance”

Zamya Postings

I’ve heard of this group before and even watched them rehearse at the Salvation Army Harbor Light in Minneapolis a few years ago, but I never actually caught a performance until Thursday, September 13th.

I really enjoyed this…I mean really. Not only was some talent on display, but the audience got into it, too.

The theme and title was “Second Chance”, and as implied, many of us need a second chance in life as we made mistakes and goofed up our first opportunity. One doesn’t need to be homeless to relate to that.

One particular story, a woman and single mom raising her teenage daughter in an efficiency apartment would like to get a larger place. She told her story of addiction and abuse early in life and upon doing the math, a modestly paying job doesn’t allow a single person to pay rent and have enough left over to survive. It was a heart-felt story, one I was touched by.

At Threshold to New Life, we deal with SO many people telling us the same story. Affordable housing is limited and making it on your own is almost impossible. It seems it will likely take an active private – public partnership to change this.

We work to change this one person at a time. If you’d consider assisting us with a tax deductible donation, click on this link: https://threshold2newlife.org/donate/

Thank you!

 

#zamya #ststephens #homeless

Money Matters

Hope Harbor

We sponsored a seminar called “Money Matters”, in cooperation with #salvationarmy #hopeharbor as a benefit to the residents. Our goal was to provide practical tips and techniques to the attendees, so “you manage the money, your money doesn’t manage you.”

All attendees (13 in all) received a household care kit as pictured above.

Thanks so much to Rob and Nancy for all their preparation and graciousness to take a couple of hours from their schedule to lead this session.

We intend to follow-up in several months to see what folks have developed for new habits and do a brush up on the seminar.

Occasionally, an Angel Shows Up

Miguel RomanoOur social ministry doesn’t often take in donations of physical items as we just aren’t equipped to store lots of stuff. We do keep basic items on hand – socks, jackets, gloves, hats and backpacks – all which are pretty universally needed and one size fits most. So when a donor/friend of ours offered a laptop and printer, we first said “no” but suggested we might find a need at some point and if we did we’d let him know.

We received an application from Miguel only weeks after the donor’s offer. The need began as a request for rental assistance and maybe a few groceries. We were able to “step in the gap” for Miguel on those matters, then he asked that he “just found out I need a laptop” for his work. Imagine that.

We contacted the donor and he graciously updated the operating system and packaging everything up neatly, even providing a laptop case.

Miguel was all hugs and smiles when we met. We have these situations come up from time to time – we have a client in need of an item we just don’t have, or someone wishes to donate something we refuse. And sometimes, God seems to work things out just as we need.

 

 

Getting the Household Ready

With a baby due in September and the prospect of another child reuniting with her soon, Brittney was in need of help.  We put the word out to our network and were able to round up some of the basic things she needs to get her new home up and running – dishes, coffee pot, microwave, dish towels and a few other items.  She is also very resourceful, coming up with friends and family providing many other things she needs.

We just love how God works to heal us from past mistakes, even if those mistakes leave a few scars. Brittney has endured some significant challenges in her life – some self-induced – and yet she is now in a place where she is excited to move forward in life, clean and sober, back together with the baby’s father and having a mailing address.

We’re so proud of how far she’s come; God isn’t through with Brittney just yet!

Homeless Day on the Hill

As we (Carla and Rich) endeavor to move into a more active role in dealing with social issues, we signed up for the first time for Homeless Day on the Hill sponsored by the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless. We arrived at a site near but off the capitol grounds along with 850 others – at least planned but not quite realized due to poor weather and driving conditions.

We listened to impassioned speeches, encouraging talks from a couple of legislators and received instruction on how to conduct our meetings with our senators and representatives. Then, we connected with other constitutes from our district and headed off for our mission.

Our team met with both our senator and representative separately – one was more open and receptive than the other. We received some good questions from each that our group wasn’t equipped to answer. The meetings were short – 15 minutes each – and we pray it was impactful. A large group remained for the afternoon to observe and be a physical presence at some of the meetings for both the senate and the house committees.

It is a bit of an empty feeling to leave not knowing anything more than when we arrived. No indication that our effort made a difference. No idea if our concerns will be remembered. No sense that funds will be applied to the critical issues related to affordable housing and the homeless.

So, we applied our effort. We reflected on the drive home on what our part might be going forward and things we might do differently if participating again. In any case, we will continue to press on toward the goal – of loving and caring for “the least of these” in the best and most effect ways we find possible. We’re grateful there are lots of folks in our community that care enough to raise their voices for those without one.

 

Minnesota Homeless Memorial March & Service 2017

Homeless Memorial March 2017

Carla and I “marched” in this last evening. Our first time.

The two mile walk in the Minnesota cold pales in comparison to what many of those we serve endure during the harsh conditions winter dishes out. The service was moving with dozens of names of the homeless read aloud with a candle lit for each. On the list were the names of each person passing away since last year’s service, either homeless, recently homeless or having served the homeless.

I couldn’t help notice it seemed the average age of the homeless on the list was around the late 40s or early 50s. Too young. Unnaturally young. We personally knew one of the men on the list, murdered last summer at his camp. Very sad.

We hope to participate in the future to honor those that won’t have an obituary printed or perhaps evening having the funds or family for a service of their own.

 

Beautiful people; lovely hats

My friend, Rocky and his wife Kalli, have been encouraging and supporting our social ministry work since our beginnings. Kalli struggles with her physical health and knits hats as a way of giving back while keeping busy. She sent many hats to us for distributions this winter – as the winters in Minneapolis are VERY cold – so we waited until just before Christmas to give them out.

Folks were so excited and please with these high quality, hand made hats! I told each the story of the lady who knitted them with love, which enriched the experience of receiving the gift.

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Amen to that. Merry Christmas.

New Socks Feel Great!

Bombas socks 2017-11

The sock manufacturer, Bombas, has a corporate mission to give away one pair of socks for each pair sold; that’s near 5,000,000 pairs of socks as of this post!

We applied for a grant to be a recipient of Bombas and were generously shipped 500 pairs of their awesome socks. These will come in handy during our time in Twin Cities homeless shelters this winter.

Its great to see there are companies that utilize as a central focus of vision to give back, as recognition that “to whom much was given, of him much will be required

Thank you #bombas #beebetter

Jimmy gets a job

Jimmy gets a job

Jimmy has been working hard at staying clean and maintaining good status at his residence. He dropped in to see us at the Salvation Army one morning last week and said, “If I could get a bus card, I know I could go to a temp service and start working again.” So for $30 we loaded up a card to give Jimmy the opportunity to come through on his commitment. He stopped in on Friday and said that he started work that week, is still clean and just wanted to thank us for the $30 Go To card (bus pass) because that was the boost he needed to make it happen.

Sometimes it is the small things we do to encourage others, like trusting Jimmy with a $30 bus pass, that help others with the motivation to move forward in life.

Carla Bahr

SECRETARY/TREASURER & ADVOCATE

Carla co-founded Threshold to New Life with her husband, Richard, in 2013. Carla handles the day-to-day operations for the organization dealing with partner organizations and working directly with clients.

She has spent a career in providing administrative support for executives at a number of prominent Twin City companies, which developed her organizational skills as well as the heart of a servant.


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Richard Bahr

PRESIDENT & CHAPLAIN

Having led and grown a leading capital equipment manufacturer with installations in 27 countries serving 17 of the top 20 pharmaceutical firms in the world, Bahr became determined to dedicate more of his time, talent and treasure to helping “the least of these."

He has a B.A. from Augsburg University in Business and has served on the boards of and has actively worked with several charitable organizations throughout his career. As a licensed minister, he volunteers as a chaplain at various homeless shelters along with providing leadership for 2.4 Ministries of Grace Fellowship, serving a daily breakfast to the homeless. He is also a published author. His most recent book, Those People, shares stories about his homeless friends. More about Bahr can be found on his website at www.richardbahr.com.


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Sheila Daniels

DIRECTOR

From Homeless to Faith – Following her experiences in dealing with both homelessness and chemical dependency, Sheila committed her life to Christ in 2004. As God began pulling the pieces of her life together, she began working for a non-profit homeless shelter in 2007, then earned her B.S. in Human Services in 2018. Following multiple promotions, she now is the Case Management Program Manager at the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Minneapolis.

Sheila is originally from Chicago and has resided in the Twin Cities since the late ’90s. She is married and a soldier in The Salvation Army. Her empathy for those struggling with addiction, homelessness, and mental illness has oriented her vocation and volunteering to step in to help those in need.


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Danell Gibbins

DIRECTOR

Danell is a hands-on executive with several decades of senior level experience in the wholesale industry. Born and raised in North Dakota, she has lived in the Twin Cities area for more than 30 years, and she and her husband call the northern suburbs home.

In addition to volunteering with Threshold to New Life, she supports a number of other organizations which reflect her heart for poverty, food and family insecurity, and homelessness: World VisionCommon Hope, and Unseen among them. She loves to cook, eat, and make others feel welcome. She translates this into preparing and serving food at Simpson Shelter, Minneapolis, alongside her friends from Grace Fellowship, Brooklyn Park, MN.


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Denise Morrisette

DIRECTOR

A life-long Minnesotan, Denise is married to John and has two wonderful daughters and a son-in-law. She has spent her career as an elementary school teacher in a Title 1 school in a Twin City area school district.

Along with volunteering with Threshold to New Life, she has helped with several other homeless ministries. She sponsors children through World Vision and is currently a coach and mentor to the Girls on the Run organization, which promotes good self-esteem, positive role models, and moral education along with physical activity to girls in grades 3 – 5.


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John Morrisette

DIRECTOR

Also a life-long Minnesotan, John is married to Denise and has two wonderful daughters and a son-in-law. He has been an Environmental Scientist and has been operating his own business for 22 years.

Along with volunteering with Threshold to New Life, John has learned the joys of serving by being a Big Brother since 2012 and is currently a tutor at Sharing and Caring Hands. He has worked with at-risk teens at Maple Grove High School in the STRIVE program. He has also coached youth gymnastics and soccer for many years.


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Rob Van Beusekom

DIRECTOR

Rob was born and raised in the Minneapolis area and currently lives in the Northwest suburbs of Minneapolis with his wife, Nancy. He has a B.S. Degree in Finance from Saint Cloud State University and has spent the last 30 years of his career in corporate financial management and planning.

In addition to his role on the Board of Directors of Threshold to New Life, Rob is involved in several other non-profit organizations. He teaches financial literacy classes for several organizations, serves on the speakers’ bureau of Feed My Starving Children, and is a Compassion International and Campus Outreach sponsor. He is also involved in his church, Grace Fellowship in Brooklyn Park, where he serves as a church elder, men’s group leader, and small group leader.


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Nancy Van Beusekom

DIRECTOR

Nancy was born and raised in Wisconsin and has lived in the Twin Cities for over 35 years. She lives in the Northwest suburbs of Minneapolis with her husband, Rob. She has a B.S. Degree in Finance from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and has spent the past 30 years of her career in business systems support and project management within the Financial Services Industry, where she recently retired.

In addition to her role on the Board of Directors of Threshold to New Life, Nancy teaches financial literacy classes for several non-profit organizations, ran the church bookstore for 4 years at Grace Fellowship Church, and is a Compassion International and Campus Outreach sponsor.


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