Voice UGM of salem - january 2017


Deana finally finds success at Simonka Place

"I feel like I've never succeeded at anything in my life." Looking back, Deana saw a series of failures that began with her first drink as a teenager. She dropped out of high school. Her marriage ended and she lost custody of her children. She went to jail. And when she tried to deal with her addiction on her own, that failed too.

"I took four buses to my sister's house and showed up on her doorstep," Deana recalls. "In less than a week we found out about Simonka Place for Women and Children. I've been here ever since." At Simonka Place, Deana finally got a taste of success and it was sweet. "I've never been sober for more than 30 days until I got here. Now I'm seven months sober," she tells us. "And it's by God's strength, not my own."

The New Life fellowship program gave Deana the support and resources she needed to overcome her addiction and make plans for her future. "I'm feeling more complete and I know that I can finally move on to the next chapter in my life. I've been stuck for so long and I didn't realize how stuck I was." As Deana progressed in the program, she deepened her friendship with God. "He's been by my side through all of my difficulties. I'ts wonderful." Deana also has her mother and her children by her side once more.

Today, Deana is working toward completing her GED and hopes to write about her experiences at Simonka Place. "This is the only place that I've found where I have true family that sticks by me no matter what. They don't judge me. I came here broken and they opened their arms to me. I feel accepted here." Deana thanks you for making UGM and Simonka Place available for her and for making her recovery possible. "Whenever I need someone to talk to, they are there to help me and guide me," Deana says. "I am not longer an addict because Jesus has set me free."

"But, blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him" - Jeremiah 17:7

Bruce Bailey, Executive Director

What does it take to be a volunteer - a good volunteer? I've been thinking about that lately, and I wonder, would I be able to "make it" as a volunteer at UGM? Good question.

In fact, that's the question we ask everyone who wants to serve as a volunteer at UGM. Are you qualified to serve the people who come to UGM in search of help? You see, it takes a lot of heart - primarily - to not only give of your time and talent, but to "put yourself out there" doing tasks behind the scenes as well as serving in more visible roles. To us, and to the people who receive care and compassion in our shelters, it is the volunteers who give of themselves who truly make a difference.

As you consider what you might do in a volunteer capacity this near year - whether stuffing envelopes, participating in the planning of an event at one of our shelters, or raising funds to support the clients of UGM - you will be making a difference. When you step forward to join us, you will help men, women and children break free from the cycle of homelessness through the transforming power of Jesus Christ.


Scott, Restoration House Cook

Scott had driven by UGM for years on his way to work, until one day the Lord placed a sense of service on his heart and he came in to meet with our volunteer coordinator. A few weeks later, he started as a once-a-week cook at our Restoration House men's transition home and has eagerly served since August 2014.

"Food brings the residents together," Scott says. "I eat and talk with the guys, then clean the kitchen and leave for home at 7:30." One resident thanked Scott, saying it meant so much to him that someone from the outside cared. "I had no idea that a few hours each week could impact someone so much," Scott tells us.

If you're thinking of lending your time and talents, Scott advises, "Pray and ask God for guidance. When you get an answer - which may take minutes, days or even years - that's all you may need on your resume to volunteer at UGM."

Kathleen, Writing Instructor

After 34 years as a public school teacher, Kathleen felt called to share her gifts with the women at Simonka Place. "These women have an incredible amount of resilience and strength," Kathleen observes. "They are trying to change their lives and through the difficulties, they find the ability to laugh again. They begin to see their worth as they allow God to fill those empty holes. They are worth what we invest in them. I am blessed and they are a blessing."

Kathleen now sees homeless people in a difference light. "I appreciate them when I see them on the streets. I have no basis for judging. My reliance on God has strengthened." Her advice to anybody considering volunteering at UGM: "Be sure you are called by God to be there. Ask God to give you His love to everyone who comes across your path and He will."

New Life Fellowship Graduation

Thursday, May 4, 2017 | 6pm - Salem First Baptist Church 395 Marion St NE, Salem, OR 97301

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

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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