This week, three mothers and their children got a fresh start. Months ago, they were homeless and turned to The Salvation Army Center of Hope shelter for women and children, but after entering into the Supportive Housing Innovative Partnership (SHIP) program, they now have their own apartments and are ready to start their lives again.
Because of Homemakers of Mercy (HOM), a collaborative ministry between St. Gabriel and St. Matthew Catholic Churches that helps the underserved in our community move beyond homelessness, they will walk into their new apartments fully furnished.
HOM collects, sorts, stores and then moves the furniture and home décor in the apartments when families in the SHIP program are ready to move into housing. “I pray for the moms and children that this opportunity helps them turn their lives around,” said Lisa, a HOM volunteer from the beginning.
“When I first started helping I would help bring the donated items into storage, now I help move into the apartments and decorate. It’s great to see both sides of the program, the end part can really be emotional and life changing,” added Mark, a volunteer who has now had the opportunity to move in three different families.
On this day, a total of 15 volunteers overcame the heat and moved in furnishings for 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments for mothers with children from ages 2 months to 14 years of age. Some volunteers wash the dishes and put them in the cupboard, while others hang pictures on the wall or build play tents for young children. Whatever they are doing to make the home welcoming, they do it with kindness and compassion. Dorothy says they are answering the call of mercy. “Our mercy is setting up a safe home for the moms and children, bringing them to a place where they can grow, move forward and feel safe.”
These volunteers will never meet the families, but they do know what they are doing is giving these women and their children a chance at a fresh start.
To volunteer for Homemakers of Mercy or if you have furnishings you would like to contribute and have picked up, contact Homfurniture.firstname.lastname@example.org.