UMOM, You & Me
In recent weeks, the monsoons have come in with a fury, and some neighborhoods in our valley were especially damaged by the high winds and heavy rains. One of the neighborhoods that was hardest hit was the area where UMOM New Day Center resides. Located at 33rd Street and Van Buren, United Methodist Outreach Ministries is the largest local center offering temporary shelter for homeless families.
The strong storm flooded 12 of the facility’s 150 family rooms and caused the only elevator in one of its three story buildings to stop working. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the storm, but a day after the storm passed, the damaged rooms were filled with mold and damp clothes, and the rains caused several trees on the property to fall, as well as causing damage to staff offices and vehicles.
Repairs for the damage will run into the tens of thousands of dollars, and will require funds that go way beyond what is covered by UMOM’s insurance. Until the damage is repaired, homeless families must remain on the waiting list, anxiously awaiting shelter, compassion and care.
UMOM is no stranger to Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, and has been a spiritual neighboring community for many years as our members travel to join UMOM’s residents for reading, sharing, praying, and spiritual communion. UMOM is part of our family. Our family needs some help.
While there are many stereotypes about homelessness, most homeless people are not violent, and all homelessness is not alike. There are people who are incidentally homeless due to job loss or other circumstances, and there are those who are chronically homeless. Many of the chronically homeless have serious mental health issues or addictions. Many homeless people want help and housing, but have trouble navigating the system. Housing is a critical need in this equation, a need that UMOM has met since 1964.
One teenager named Krista expresses the emotions that accompany homelessness:
My home can be everywhere or nowhere.
My daily meals consist of anything or nothing.
My knick-knacks and baubles are the clothes I wear.
My money is only what others give me.
I am a being.
I am human.
I am homeless.
If only people could see where I stand.
and help me through this all.
Will this loneliness ever end?
Will I begin new life?
Does anyone care?
Because I am here,
I am real.
I cannot be ignored.
I am a person.
I am alive.
I am homeless.
It must have been with a broken heart that Jesus said to some of the people around Him “For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you did not take me in, I was naked and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” (Matthew 25:42-43) We are blessed to have this opportunity to reach out in Christian love to those who need shelter, clothing and food. Donations for UMOM can be delivered to the church office or made online here. Select UMOM Flood Relief from the drop-down menu.