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Rain Ponchos Distributed

Did you notice it was raining A LOT lately? How do you get out of the rain when you’re homeless? We lack a real great answer for this, but we did purchase and distribute A LOT of rain ponchos this past week in the various homeless communities we serve.

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Update and New Family Member

When we met Brittany, she was many months clean and sober, recently obtained housing, hoped to regain custody of her daughter and was looking for work. Since, she’s added to her family a new son!

Obtaining affordable daycare remains a barrier to getting a full time job (she wants one!) but her spirits are good. She’s grateful for assistance that Thresholds and other agencies have provided to help her get life back on track.

We’re a big fan of Brittney’s as we are with all people for which we “step in the gap”. Sometimes that small, little thing to us means the world to another.

 

Serving Others Through Packing

T2NL Packing PC Kits 2018-10

One of the things we LOVE is getting folks together to love on others through serving. T2NL acquired the components along with special thanks to Jellycat for providing the travel bags.

Each kits contained soap, shampoo, razors, lip balm, toothpaste and toothbrush, nail clipper, deodorant and an inspirational tract.

We packed 100+ kits that will be distributed to folks in the homeless community at shelters in Minneapolis this fall.

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.

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