Skip to the main content.
Donate Need help?
Donate Need help?

2 min read

A God-Sent Place: Purpose and Community for Victor

Despite the chill of winter, Union Gospel Mission remains a warm haven for those seeking refuge. As the year comes to a close, UGM seeks to provide stability and offer hope to those facing challenges, often compounded as physical, emotional, and financial burdens. A supportive community and access to essential resources allow residents to build their self-esteem and experience true rest, knowing there is a place for them. Hope starts here this season.


 

After surviving a heart attack, Victor found himself awaiting heart surgery. He sat in a stale and lonely room, filled out a hospital questionnaire, and stated that he hoped he wouldn’t come out of his surgery. Victor’s honest response about how he was feeling alerted doctors of the deeper issues he was facing, and he was placed on psychiatric observation for five days.

Mens Shelter East Door

As if that weren’t enough to bear, Victor learned that the place where he had been staying would no longer be able to care for him upon being released from the hospital. Despite his hesitations, Victor ended up at the UGM Men’s Shelter. He was scared and unsure about the shelter, having no idea about the safe, healing community that he was about to experience.

 

“I never expected to be in a situation like I am right now, but it was a blessing in disguise. I needed this experience to make me a better person.”

 

A God-sent place 

After his arrival to UGM, Victor’s perspective changed. “This place is God-sent,” he shared. “The people here are amazing. They have helped me. They continue to look out for my betterment.” Victor started doing silverware as his daily two-hour chore, but to him, it didn’t feel like enough. He wanted to do more to help other residents.

Victor-Mens-Shelter

Eventually, Victor became a night desk translator, using his ability to speak fluently in various languages. He helps residents understand rules and policies, get connected to people in the community, and access resources so they can thrive in the shelter. Victor’s willingness to serve has paved the way for barriers to be overcome and people to be reached. “I never expected to be in a situation like I am right now, but to tell you the truth, it was a blessing in disguise. I needed this experience to make me a better person.”

 

“I keep on surviving.”

 

Healing from the inside out

Due to physical impairments, Victor has struggled to be able to work in the past. His health issues have unfortunately made him feel like less of a person. Wrestling with his situation, he explained, “I’m either very weak because I’m in the hospital all the time or very tough because I keep on surviving.” 

Victor-Behind-Desk

The opportunity to work as a translator and night desk attendant at UGM has improved his self-esteem immensely and given him a sense of purpose. When speaking about God’s purpose for his life, Victor explained, “He obviously has something for me to do because He keeps me around. There’s gotta be something that He wants me to do.” While Victor is excited to get an apartment and live on his own when he is ready, he wants to continue to serve at UGM to support residents.

 

Having a place to call home

Although he still makes frequent visits to the hospital, Victor is always eager to return to UGM afterward. “Whenever I get released from the hospital, my train of thought is, ‘I’m done. I’m going home.’ [Home, meaning UGM]. I would’ve never thought I could think of this place as home.”

As the year ends, we reflect on the many hands and hearts that make this holistic care possible. Victor is part of a community of residents who are grateful that they can depend on UGM to meet not only their basic needs, but also to support long-term life change.

 

 

Help provide a warm welcome and homelike environment for our neighbors in need this winter. Your gift will offer them stability, nourishing meals, and individualized support for rebuilding their life.

New call-to-action

New Beginnings: Treasures from the heart

4 min read

New Beginnings: Treasures from the heart

Jarrod’s life in Spokane has been a series of ups and downs. He battled with addictions for more than 10 years. Yet on March 11, 2024, he will...

Read More
Redeemed and Renewed: A testimony of God's grace

7 min read

Redeemed and Renewed: A testimony of God's grace

This winter, UGM resident Alethea shared her testimony at a staff meeting. With tremendous vulnerability and newfound confidence, she recounted how...

Read More
From Recovery to Retail: Hope comes from UGM Thrift Stores

4 min read

From Recovery to Retail: Hope comes from UGM Thrift Stores

Three women from the UGM Recovery program achieved well-deserved positions at the Coeur d’Alene Thrift Store. Megan, Debra, and Starla serve as...

Read More
I Didn't Have a Job

4 min read

I Didn't Have a Job

Poor work history. Felony record. Long periods of unemployment. Addiction issues. Lack of education. No transportation. No appropriate work attire....

Read More
I Was in Denial, and You Showed Me the Truth

4 min read

I Was in Denial, and You Showed Me the Truth

Recovery is impossible... if you don’t believe you have a problem if you refuse to look at the problem if you blame someone else for the problem or ...

Read More
Lessons from 10 Years Working With Homeless Men

9 min read

Lessons from 10 Years Working With Homeless Men

The inimitable Dean Whisler just marked 10 years working at the UGM Men’s Shelter, where he’s now the Social Services Manager. We asked him a few...

Read More