By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)
You can see it every time you step out the door. The plants have little buds beginning to bulge out from their stems, and the winds are blowing the winter debris all around. They are the signs of a new season getting ready to embark upon our lives.
Spring is approaching fast. That means the days will be warmer, but most likely, the nights will still be quite cool…maybe even frigid.
During the day, most of us can find a place to feel the sun’s rays beaming down on us. It’s a cozy feeling. Sometimes, it even causes us to feel the urge to lay down and take a nap.
But, at night, that ball of fire in the sky is no longer offering warm rays, and that cold air feels even colder. Heavy coats may still be needed if we are out after dark.
Have you thought about those who are out on the streets in that cold weather? We may see them during the day, but we think they are okay because it’s not too cold to be out and about. But, what about during the night?
Some organizations around the city offer a bed to those who have no place to lay their heads at night during the winter months. We are thankful for that!
However, what if the places that house the homeless during the frigid winter nights were to shut their doors when the spring weather arrives? Those who were used to spending their nights inside during the cold months find that they no longer have shelter – and then what?
Should those who feel “kicked out” be left to their own abilities to find warmth around the city at night? Is that okay with the majority of our population? Should the outdoor elements determine whether or not a person can have comfort and safety during their night of rest?
We are a shelter that functions year-round. We do not close our doors for weather issues.
Our guests are welcome to stay until they are able to get a place of their own. Our shelter houses many different family units – like a large, extended family – with people of all ages, from birth on up.
Some of our residents, especially the long-term ones in our program, become extra special to us as we interact with them on a daily basis. We are thrilled for them when they are able to graduate from the Christ in Power Program and move on with their lives.
We miss them, sure… But, the whole purpose of our shelter and program is to help people “turn over a new leaf” in their lives, mature in their new-found mental and emotional strengths, and re-enter society.
It’s such a wonderful feeling when former guests contact us after beginning their new lives outside the shelter and share their stories with us. Sometimes, it’s just a simple “thanks” from them, like one of our previous short-term guests who wrote back to us saying:
six years ago, with a roof over my head
and food to eat for two weeks.
I will be forever grateful!
Thank you for all you do!”
It is a true pleasure to help those who have been in such desperate situations. It warms our hearts to know that those who felt so alone and frightened have been able to leave with confidence to pursue a new start in life.
We will continue to put all of our efforts into serving those who have hit rock bottom and have no where else to go. We welcome them and look forward to seeing what God has for them as they gain strength (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically) while staying with us and prepare to move on with their lives outside the shelter.