HIS HANDS The City Mission Newsletter • maY 2017

Note from the Chief Executive Officer

an identity crisis

At The City Mission, no two days are the same. The guests change, the weather changes, even our buildings change! If you haven’t seen any news from the Mission recently, you may have missed it: during a terrible windstorm in early March, a portion of the roof at Laura’s Home, our women’s crisis center, blew off.

Thanks to the over­whelming generosity of our faithful supporters, we were able to meet our deductible quickly, and repairs are underway. But it just goes to show that we need to expect the unexpected around here.

For all that changes though, I’ve noticed one unsettling similarity: our guests are experiencing an identity crisis. The years of struggle they’ve endured have taken a toll on them, and they no longer remember—or perhaps they never understood—that they are deeply loved children of God.

Our job is to remind them of that critical, life-giving truth. Aside from the meals, shelter, counseling and care, we must communicate the message of Ephesians 2:10: that they are God’s masterpiece, created by Him to do good works.

We serve a powerful God—one who provides for our guests AND our roof. As you read this edition of His Hands, I pray you’re encouraged by the stories you see. Our ongoing mission is to make sure that everyone who walks through our doors—each man, woman and child—hears that God knows them, loves them, and has a plan for their lives.

Sincerely,

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. –Ephesians 2:10
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. –Proverbs 27:17

from the outside in

Raymond finds a place at the table

Raymond has felt like an outsider since he was very young. Born into a blended family, he was closest to his mother, but she left when he was still a small child. Her absence would go on to shape Raymond’s future.

“My mom was the biggest love of my life,” he shares. “When I was a kid, she left one day and I followed her car for almost 20 blocks. She passed away soon after, and I knew I was going to be alone. I said that I would never let anyone get so close to me that it would hurt me to see them leave. All of my relationships were colored by that.

“I was always the outsider, the step child. I’ve always been set aside and told, ‘You aren’t part of the group,’ so I just figured it was me against the world.”

That attitude has stuck with Raymond since he was young. Without a birth certificate—he was born in the back of a truck and was never issued one—he has struggled to get an ID, and in turn, secure housing and a steady job. He has spent time in jail and bounced from shelter to shelter. Finally, Raymond got a rude awakening.

“My job at the shelter was to wake the other guys up at 6:00 a.m.,” he tells us. “One morning, I got the shock of my life because I tried to get one guy up, and he wouldn’t wake up. The same thing happened again two days later to someone else I had just been playing cards with.

“It was a clear sign for me that I was doing something wrong, and I needed to quit doing what I was doing. I knew that if I didn’t change, then I could end up just like those guys. Fortunately, the Mission helped me figure out that I had been living a wrong way of life.”

“I’ve learned that if I do God’s work, it can lead other people to Christ. That’s what I want to do now.”

Changing his thinking

Raymond has been here for just over a year now, and through the classes he is taking, he’s learning to make wise decisions and deal with conflict peacefully.

“What’s amazing to me is that I go to the classes here in the morning, and then I go downtown and right away there is something that I picked up in class that can get me out of a bad situation. It’s an immediate payoff because I can say, ‘Ok Ray, take a deep breath and use your wise mind.’

“I’ve always had a ‘me, me, me’ attitude. I was so alone when I was young, so I’ve put people off and said, ‘Don’t mess with me.’ But now I see my brother struggling and I want to do what I can to make it less painful. I want to help because I never got help.

“I’ve learned that if I do God’s work, it can lead other people to Christ. That’s what I want to do now.”

Finding a place at the table

With the resources available to him at the Mission, Raymond was able to get an ID earlier this year. He’s currently putting it to good use as he searches for a job and permanent housing. Most importantly, he no longer feels like an outsider.

“I’ve been trying to fill that void my whole life, but here, we are all trying to find God and stability. That puts us in the same club.

“It’s a “we” situation that I’ve never had before. I can listen to my brother and let iron sharpen iron.”

Thank you for making stories like this possible! Your faithful support helps people like Raymond find new life every day at The City Mission—please consider a donation today.

service in focus: our case workers

MAKING RECOVERY PERSONAL

On any given day, hundreds of men, women and children are recovering from crisis at the Mission. Our goal is to help each one heal and move toward self-sufficiency, but every individual has a unique background and set of challenges they must overcome. To create programs that work on a large scale AND minister to our clients on a personal level, we rely on our amazing team of case workers.

Case workers connect with everyone who enters our long-term program. From the moment they meet, the case workers begin to build relationships and identify unique needs for each person. They are involved on a daily basis, linking our guests with available resources, offering advice, and guiding them along the difficult road to recovery.

“A case worker is a mentor—someone who walks through life with you,” shares Linda Uveges, COO of The City Mission. “They work to make sure that everything we offer our clients is finely tuned to each individual.”

Whether a client needs medical care, tutoring, housing assistance, or, like Raymond, a government I.D., our case workers are there to guide them. In fact, no matter what challenge a client faces during recovery, their case worker is the first place they turn.

Like any worthwhile relationship, such a deep level of investment can be challenging. But no matter what, Uveges knows the team is up to the task.

“They’re just such great examples of compassion and patience. They’re willing to listen, and they’re right there to celebrate each victory. Most importantly, they share our most important resource: Jesus Christ.”

We’re grateful for this incredible team of Godly men and women who graciously walk alongside our clients. Their ongoing care and compassion give each of our guests a personal mentor, advocate, and cheerleader as long as they are with us.

roof update

If you haven’t seen news from the Mission lately, you may have missed a big story! On March 1, an intense windstorm blew off part of the Laura’s Home roof, causing damage to the building and some of the rooms on the fourth floor. The women and children inside at the time of the incident weren’t injured, but they were forced to evacuate the rooms they call home.

The City Mission asked for your help to restore the damaged roof, and you answered in an incredible way. The community rallied together and, in just 100 hours, helped us reach our $10,000 goal! This money will be used to cover our insurance deductible and any other extra care required to help displaced families and individuals get back to healing.

Thank you for caring for the hurting and homeless in Cleveland by supporting us in this time of urgent need. Rest assured: we won’t stop celebrating God’s faithfulness and your generosity!

upcoming ways to get involved

Running with a Mission

Every June, nearly 1,500 runners and walkers join us at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for Running with a Mission. This 5K run and 1 mile walk raises money for Laura’s Home Women’s Crisis center, and directly benefits the women and children staying with us.

Last year, Running with a Mission raised $144,000!

Visit our website to learn more about Running with a Mission, and make plans to join us on June 17 for this year’s run.

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning? We make it easy to put your unwanted items to good use! By donating your gently used clothing, shoes and accessories to The City Mission you’re supporting transformational change in the lives of Cleveland’s hurting and homeless. We’ll even pick it up for you!

3 Ways to Donate: 
  1. Drop items off at our Carnegie and E. 55th location.
  2. Schedule a donation pickup at your home at www.DonateStuff.com.
  3. Send your items to us for free with a pre-paid UPS bag available at www.DonateStuff.com.

To learn more about these opportunities please visit our website, or head to www.DonateStuff.com to check out your pickup eligibility now!

— Follow the Mission on Facebook

— Get mission updates on Twitter (@TheCityMission)

— See photo updates on Instagram

A publication of The City Mission

5310 Carnegie Avenue // Cleveland, OH 44103 // (216) 431-3510

Providing help and hope to all people through the transforming power of God’s love.

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