Creating a Change Environment

Posted by Phil Altmeyer, Executive Director Sep 10, 2019 11:10:09 AM

Imagine committing to a smoking cessation program right before going on a road trip with a pair of chain smokers.

Imagine trying to avoid sugar while working in a candy factory.

Imagine trying to change your life when the people around you are invested in you staying exactly the same.


UGM wants to end homelessness for the people coming through our doors, and for most of them, that involves the process of change: breaking cycles of abuse and addiction; letting go of lies and seeing themselves, God and others in a new way; getting a GED, developing computer skills and learning new work habits; believing tomorrow can be better than yesterday and that they have a contribution to make to the world.

While that process will be unique for each individual, one of UGM’s priorities is creating an environment conducive to real change.

We operate clean and sober shelters. Some people see drug and alcohol testing as a barrier or a hurdle we’re asking people to scale in order to receive help, but look at it from the opposite side: If you’re an addict trying to get clean, what happens when you are suddenly surrounded by other addicts? “Bad company corrupts good character” (I Corinthians 15:33).

We place a high value on community and relationship. The Holy Spirit works directly in our hearts and minds, but he also works through others. Everyone at UGM – residents, staff and volunteers – is on a journey. We are all seeking change. We eat together, work together, play together, worship together and confess our failures to one another. Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”

Our core values are meant to create a culture of Life Transformation. Because we believe that only God can change a heart, we acknowledge our dependence on Him, hold Christ-likeness as our standard, and invite those around us to speak into our lives. “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

We require chapel attendance. We believe a relationship with Jesus is the ultimate answer to addiction and trauma. That’s why our goal is to extend the love and power of the gospel to everyone who comes to UGM. “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1).

God is the Author of real change. Thank you for joining us as His agents to share that hope.

Topics: change, addiction, choosing change, Heart to Heart, help the homeless

Click here to see all articles for the September 2019 issue.


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