NO ONE DREAMS OF BEING HOMELESS… or enslaved to a drug. No one plans to spend their entire life trying to escape pain. Yet today, as many as 550,000 Americans are living unhoused, existing in survival mode. How did they get there?
We believe no one was created for mere survival on the streets, for an existence blurred by mind-numbing substances.
Brad and Stephanie Hunter own Caramel Kitchen. As business partners with UGM, they're helping single moms get back to work to support their families.
It takes five years actively pursuing recovery for an addict to have a strong chance (about 85%) of lifelong recovery.
Five years minus the length of our recovery program leaves a gap of at least three years in which our clients are most vulnerable to relapse.
That’s a gap we’re working to bridge. Just like the program, the transition back into society must consider the needs of the whole person – spiritual, social, emotional, mental and physical – to be sustainable.
More than food, shelter or even the air we breathe, we need Jesus.
That’s why the gospel is the cornerstone of UGM, holding up everything we do and believe. Our need for Him unites UGM staff, residents, volunteers, and partners around the cross – and the empty tomb – of Jesus.
Resurrection (new life) is what makes UGM not just a well-meaning charitable organization but a Spirit-empowered partnership of believers and churches, sharing the good news with people trapped in spiritual poverty and death.
Charity was one of those people.
“All my needs were met when I got here. The food, the shelter, and the fellowship. … I tried to do it on my own, and I couldn’t do it.” - Mike
Mike Baker is a self-described mountain man who, for a lot of years, preferred the company of trees to people. When he found himself living in his car in North Idaho, the thought of coming to the Union Gospel Mission in Spokane scared him, but the support and fellowship he found surprised and changed him.
As you read Mike’s story, you’ll see some themes common among people experiencing homelessness.
The men and women coming through the doors of the Union Gospel Mission have damaged hearts. We must address issues of the heart if we want to end homelessness.
One of the most beautiful extensions of personal healing and recovery is the reunification and restoration of families. Moms get their children back. Children get their moms back.
Addiction creates chaos and instability and affects a mother’s ability to parent. Addicts live in survival mode, often oblivious to their children’s needs and ill-equipped to meet those needs. Children end up neglected, abused or separated from their families of origin.
Elizabeth, a resident in UGM Recovery, explained the dilemma she experienced trying to be a mom to her daughter, Celine, while in her addiction:
Rather than outward conformity to a new set of behaviors, UGM LIFE Recovery is about transformation from the inside out. From building healthy relationships to dealing with unwanted thoughts and feelings to finding meaningful employment, recovery that lasts addresses the whole person.
The four men and women featured here want more than sobriety. They recognize the importance of addressing recovery in every area of their lives and plan to continue doing just that.
I have often heard the counselors in the UGM recovery programs refer to their work as “re-parenting.” The parallels are clear... Learn More >
Throughout her life, LeAnna Vargas was repeatedly treated as though she had no value, and eventually, she began to believe she didn’t. Feeling increasingly unlovable, her heart began to harden toward love.
Child abuse, sexual assault, and her own drug addiction made LeAnna skeptical of ever finding acceptance.
“My whole life, I’ve just been running amok, searching for people to love me for myself, and I never knew that I could ever find that in anybody. I didn’t have love.”
Hurt and angry from what seemed a fruitless search, LeAnna put a guard up to protect herself. “I was mean, heartless, cold, deceitful.”