Over the past few weeks, the Mission has been under construction due to flood damage and necessary upgrades. No services have been suspended but we have had to move things around. When the construction began, we just planned on revamping the entryway in order to make the Mission a more welcoming place for the men and women we serve. But then in one night, the size of this project doubled because of some major flooding which destroyed the Learning Center.
This is why suddenly and without warning the Mission was forced to “think outside the box” about where to hold classes, meetings, and computers. This unexpected change of plans is a stark reminder of how quickly one can be forced into a new (and maybe worse) situation.
With one flood, the Overcomers are robbed of their Learning Center. The carpets, doors, and some of the walls were irreparably damaged by the water. But the flood took more than the room; it took the books, the shelves, the computers, the desks, and one very nice conference table. This unforeseen loss forces us to appreciate what we have (or had) and how easy it is to lose something important. This transition demonstrated that with one flood, one hurricane, or one fire we can lose everything and find ourselves on the street.
Many of us think that homelessness could never effect us but the fact is that one natural disaster could lead us down that road. As I write this, there are wildfires sweeping California and forcing hundreds of families to evacuate their homes. Hopefully, the fire will stay well away from their houses and they will not be thrust into homelessness but it is impossible to be certain when it comes to nature. Homelessness can hit anyone with just one natural disaster which is why it is so important to stop thinking “that could never happen to me” and start thinking about ways we can work together to help those who have been effected.
But even though the Mission is under construction, we continue to work hard to help as many people as possible. Regardless of the construction, the Mission is serving three meals a day, housing hundreds of people a night, and hosting clinics like normal. This difficult but rewarding time parallels the transformations that happens every day for the men in the Mission. We may be dealing with the growing pains of construction but these men are changing everything. Changing your life is hard, uncomfortable, and generally unpleasant but it is sometimes necessary and always rewarding.
Transformation and new beginnings are concepts that we think about regularly at the Mission. We are working hand in hand with people who are striving to change or beginning to befriend people who have yet to make that choice. Your continued partnership in this time of growth is greatly appreciated because, like the men here, we couldn’t do it alone.