At some point in my life, I cannot remember when, I wondered what had happened to my parents in their childhoods that had made them the way they were. What horrible things were done to them to make them punish us with such cruelty. Someone once told me 'It's your parent's fault you are the way you are. It's your fault if you stay that way.' I don't know if that is true, but I do believe we all have the ability to change. For some, all it takes is a chance.
"When most people come here, they are in fight, flight or freeze mode. At First Place, we take them as they are. We love them as they are.," says William.
First Place offers so much to their clients. It is here they can choose, without judgment what to do with their lives. They can choose to be more self-sufficient and look for jobs, take parenting classes, even a group therapy type session. Once in, they are usually hooked and the success rate is high.
One of the many things I found interesting was the Interfaith Emergency Shelter System in place at First Place. The shelter is small and cannot house the families they see during the day, but they are not left to fend for themselves. The IESS is a consortium of more than 30 faith communities offering night shelter, food, recreational activities and comfort throughout the school year. Congregational hosts sign up for one to two weeks each year. More than 1,500 volunteers make this outreach possible.
That's the question isn't it? I don't wonder why more churches aren't involved. I wonder why ALL of the churches aren't involved. After all, isn't that what Christ called us to do?
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:37-40
Watch Nathan's story here. NATHAN