Voice UGM of Salem Newsletter - March 2017

You gave Eric the recipe for success!

It took Eric 30 years to work his way up in the restaurant business…and just one unfortunate accident to end his cooking career and leave him homeless. “About three years ago I broke my ankle pretty badly. It took three surgeries and three months to put it back together,” Eric remembers. “I wasn’t able to move on a cooking line the way I used to and I lost my job.” Eric also lost his home and any hope he had for a stable future.

Last May, Eric arrived at UGM and immediately joined our New Life Fellowship program. Here, he was able to focus on his health, his faith and his future. “I drank an awful lot before I came into the program,” Eric says. “I don’t think about drinking anymore. It’s not a problem.”

Eric, New Life Fellowship program participant

Though he has always believed in God, Eric says he didn’t always feel close to Him. That changed at UGM. “I’m learning to rely a lot more on my faith than I used to and I’m getting closer to God every day. I’m loving every minute of it.” Eric is also loving every minute of family time he’s had since coming to UGM and reconnecting with his children and grandchildren. “They can see a difference in my life since I’ve been in the program,” he says. “It’s been a blessing for me. I’m really happy with the way things are working out.”

Because his injury prevents him from being on his feet for long periods of time, Eric is honing his computer skills and looking into alternative employment paths. “My counselor and I have been talking about some vocational training when I get done with the program. Maybe I can get into medical transcribing.”

With graduation just a few months away, Eric helps out at the Mission by working in the baggage room, picking up food donations and running the dining room during meals. Thanks to you, Eric has all the ingredients he needs to make a satisfying, productive life!

Bruce Bailey, Executive Director

Hope is More than a Meal

Bruce Bailey, Executive Director

To those who are not familiar with the extent of programs and services that Union Gospel Mission of Salem offers to the homeless and broken people of the street, I’d like to offer some insight.

We provide food and shelter, yet UGM is not ‘just a soup kitchen and a bed,’ or, as someone put it, a ‘hot and a cot.’ We offer a wide breadth of services to hurting people because that is what it takes to make serious life change.

For example, our counselors and mentors often find that our homeless neighbors have endured childhood trauma and have not been able to work through its damaging effects. We work with each individual, helping them to confront their pasts and equipping them with the tools to move forward with emotional and spiritual growth. There is hope for the future of those who truly want life change.

In God’s Word, the Apostle Peter wrote to encourage spiritual growth when he said, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 3:18).

We serve at UGM because we know what life change is all about. We have faith in a God who can do great work to help people grow to know Him and to change for the better.

Angelina, NLF program participant

Angelina Finds Peace & Calm at Simonka Place

Angelina arrived at Simonka Place for Women and Children with “a lot of baggage” though she only had the clothes on her back.

Abused as a child, Angelina went on to have five sons in a series of unsuccessful relationships. A warrant was issued for her arrest over a custody issue.

For a time, Angelina stayed ahead of the law, living in a trailer park. When she could no longer afford her trailer, she moved into the park manager’s basement in exchange for housework. Later the manager gave Angelina 30 days to turn herself in. When she didn’t, he called the sheriff’s office and changed the locks while she was in jail.

“My whole world came crashing down on me,” Angelina remembers. But Simonka Place helped her to start building a brand new life. “I know there’s a purpose for me being here,” says Angelina. “The classes are awesome. I’ve learned so much.”

Raised in the Baha’i faith, Angelina knew little about Jesus Christ. At Simonka Place, she entered into a gathering of women guided by the Holy Spirit. “When we pray together, I can’t deny the power,” she tells us.

Today, Angelina is fed by the fruits of that prayer. “I feel peace and calm because I trust in God. If I listen and watch, God will guide me wherever my gifts will serve others.”

Angelina believes God is guiding her toward being an advocate for abused women and children. “I feel like I’ve experienced all this to be a voice for others. I had a hard time speaking up for myself. But if I see someone else being victimized, I can speak out for them.” Angelina’s future promises even more. “My son is back in my life and I have God to thank for that.” She also thanks you for supporting Simonka Place and UGM. “Everything you do helps so many people!”

Visit our website for the most updated list of Memorials & Honorariums

Our Mission: Helping men, women and children break free from homelessness through the transforming grace of Jesus Christ.

Our Purpose: Purpose: Partnering with churches, individuals and organizations to maximize our effectiveness, we help the neediest of our community break the cycle of homelessness, addiction and incarceration as men and women experience dynamic transformation in following Christ, and become contributing members of our community.

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