Beyond Housing

A couple of weeks before Christmas we received a call from a local high school. They found one of their seniors sleeping in front of the school.

In a matter of hours, he had a place to lay his head.

When this young man walked in our doors, he didn’t have to worry about how he was going to make ends meet while finishing high school.

He didn’t have to worry about how he was going to get to school. Our business Lyft account provided him rides that were coordinated by his case manager.

He didn’t have to worry about going hungry or having money to grocery shop. The shelves and fridge were stocked by our team with an abundance of food from our food pantry.

He didn’t have to worry whether the water and electricity worked. The bills were paid. He just took a hot shower, plugged in his phone, and grabbed something to eat.

Immediately, his extreme fear and anxiety were lowered when he met eyes with our team who welcomed him in like one of our own because he IS one of our own. He heard things like: “you’re home now,” “you’re gonna make it,” and “we got you.”

This is our mission.

Because of Harvest House, young adults who are experiencing homelessness or are at-risk don’t have to face these challenging circumstances alone. We only exist because of you, our supporters who year after year give abundantly to our mission. Our mission takes resources and hard work. 

A few days before Christmas that same young man walked into the holiday party we hosted for our young adult clients and said, “I’ve never been to a Christmas party. This is my first one.” 

I had the privilege of sitting next to him at that Christmas party. I experienced a ton of emotions listening to him: heartache for his situation, hope in his youthfulness, honor that we could be here when needed us, angry that he needed us at all, and gratitude for my team who make it all happen and for you who support these efforts. Where would this high-school kid be if it wasn’t for this program?

Housing is just the starting point.

What we offered this young man started with housing, but it didn’t end there. What we do is holistic. Our experience has taught us that housing is just the starting point. The human services sector must offer opportunities for the whole person: the body, mind, and spirit. There are a million big and little things that make Harvest House a community of healing and belonging. Stable housing, case management, life-skill classes, recreational activities, a team of people who believe in you wholeheartedly, opportunities to better connect with oneself, with God if you choose, opportunities to go back to school to increase skill level and income, holiday and birthday celebrations, graduations, and so much more. 

When we journey with one another the possibilities are endless! The foundation to a good life is belief in and connection with oneself, a community to belong to, and purpose. That’s what the Harvest House community offers beyond housing.

With love, 

Erin E. Minor, Chief Executive Officer

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