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

3 min read

The Crisis Shelter: Many Stories, One Home

Thousands of women and children have found solace at the Crisis Shelter since it opened in January 2007. They come from all walks of life. Some have lost loved ones. Some are fleeing domestic violence. Some have lost jobs and children. And some are struggling with mental illness or addiction. But they all have one thing in common: They need a safe place to go.

Amanda_and_Daisy.sm.jpgThe stories below have been taken from a running journal that Crisis Shelter staff keep each day. These vignettes give a window into life at the Crisis Shelter and the individuals coming through our doors.

  • We got to see God work in a BIG way in the life of one of our guests! This guest had court today in Newport, WA and was in a panic because she had no ride, no bus money, and no way to appear. Knowing if she didn’t appear she would have a warrant issued for her, she called her public defender. He was able to get a phone appearance for her since she was staying here in a safe, drug-and-alcohol free facility. Not only that, but she doesn’t have to do jail time! This guest told staff the Crisis Shelter is the only place she has ever experienced unconditional love and acceptance.
  • A guest with physical disabilities had a meltdown this morning and was even saying that she didn’t want to live anymore. She feels guilty for not being able to help with chores in the room and blames herself when her room has issues passing inspection. She was going to take off today, but staff was able to calm her down, talk with her, and pray with her. Later, she seemed to be doing much better and was offering encouragement to others. God is so amazing!
  • A woman with three small children was brought here overnight by the police. They were really scared and didn’t want to check into a shelter but had no other place to go. Staff wrapped around them with love and compassion and reassured them they were safe. Staff made cocoa, spent some time listening, and allowed them to calm down. They were so grateful for warm beds and prayers. Staff assured the mom that we would help with resources tomorrow for housing and other opportunities for her. This is why we do what we do!
  •  One of our moms has a teenage son with some mental health problems. This boy had a meltdown today. Normally mom doesn’t handle this well at all and can go to an abusive level with him. Staff was so proud of her as she held to the new tools she’s learned. She remained calm and talked her son through his emotional breakdown.Mom_and_Baby.sm-1.jpg
  • A mom and baby were brought here by police tonight from a domestic violence situation. She was really scared and staff spent some time listening to and reassuring her. So thankful for this place where a woman can go in an emergency and be welcomed and loved in a safe, Christ-centered environment. She allowed staff to hold her baby while she drank some tea and settled in.

Of course, none of what happens at the Shelter is possible without this generous community. People go above and beyond to bless the women and children.

Individuals, companies, and churches have contributed fun nights for our women and children to attend plays, a train ride around Riverfront Park, dolls, books, stuffed animals, quilts – this only scratches the surface. Church groups come and bless the women on Mother's Day with manicures and flowers. Gonzaga basketball players stopped by with a meal last year. The Hell’s Angels next door have brought gifts for our kids several Christmases in a row. And faithful volunteers  watch children to give the moms a break, listen to heartbreaking stories and pray, pray, pray.Volunteers.sm.jpg

It’s incredible watching people rally around our guests in efforts to encourage them and give them hope, whether it be by providing food, prayer, or their presence.

Even though we’re grateful for all that has happened at the current Crisis Shelter, we’ve dreamed of the day when we can provide these precious women and children with a better home that has a greater number of resources to help them break the cycle and turn their lives in a new direction.

Now, with the community’s help, it’s happening. You can learn more about the new Crisis Shelter, here.

 

 

 

Update: UGM moved the Crisis Shelter to 1515 E. Illinois Ave. in December 2016. If you'd like to tour the new shelter, please call 509.535.8510.

If you’d like to be a part of serving homeless women and children, give below.  

Give to help women & children. Click here.

Gratitude In Action: A heart-to-heart message from Phil Altmeyer

2 min read

Gratitude In Action: A heart-to-heart message from Phil Altmeyer

Give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) I’ve always marveled that one of the things God wills for our life...

Read More
Restoring Dignity: Davenport Hotels Partner with UGM

3 min read

Restoring Dignity: Davenport Hotels Partner with UGM

Establishing A Partnership In 2022, ‪UGM Vocational Advancement Manager Matt Moznette reached out to the Davenport Hotels hoping to establish a ...

Read More
Embracing Life’s Twists & Turns: A Path of Hope in Recovery

7 min read

Embracing Life’s Twists & Turns: A Path of Hope in Recovery

Completing the 5-phase Life Recovery program marks the beginning of a life of recovery outside the walls of UGM. Individuals embark on a lifelong...

Read More
A Safe, Healing Community

A Safe, Healing Community

UGM is more than a shelter. Deep at the root of everything we do—from creating a warm welcome to helping people heal, thrive and get back to...

Read More
Ministry in a Thrift Store

Ministry in a Thrift Store

Meet Jaclyn, Manager at the UGM Downtown Thrift Store By Christy Zapata, UGM Volunteer - Although she couldn't see it at the time, God had been...

Read More
Core value: thankfulness

Core value: thankfulness

Editor's Note: Another winner from the essay contest at the UGM Crisis Shelter for Women & Children. "The top 5 things to be thankful for" by...

Read More