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As Mental Awareness month comes to an end this May, we'd like to share about the recent UGM Connect in Coeur d’Alene. We're grateful for the opportunity to discuss the importance of brain health in the context of recovery.

 

 

Learning Through Fellowship 

Guests gathered to enjoy a vibrant, nourishing meal prepared by UGM Culinary and Women’s Recovery Coeur d’Alene. Those in attendance learned what the men and women we serve overcome to rewire their brains and heard from individuals in the Life Recovery program. 

UGM-Connect

The theme of this event was Renewing the Mind, Rewiring the Brain. Dotty Heberer, Assistant Director of Women’s Recovery Coeur d’Alene, provided an educational presentation on brain health. Her background in nursing and passion for UGM Recovery came together to provide insight into the brain's processes during recovery. 

She shared that the brain undergoes significant changes when an individual experiences trauma. Those who turn to substances may experience temporary relief but will ultimately cause more damage to their brains. Fortunately, there is hope! God has given us the ability to rewire our brains and create new neuropathways. 


 


Life Recovery Program Testimonies 

Two individuals from the UGM Life Recovery program, Autumn and Brandon, vulnerably shared about the growth they’ve experienced.  
Brandon-and-Autumn

Autumn touched on how early childhood trauma affected her ability to connect with others and shaped false beliefs about her identity. “The authentic, genuine love and care that [my UGM counselor] has continued to show me is unlike any experience that I’ve ever had.” She’s experienced significant changes within her heart and mind, as well as outward in her relationships and habits. “Whenever [UGM staff and volunteers] tell me to do something that I don’t want to do, I walk in faith and do it anyway…There is a fight in my brain between my old self and my new self.” 

Brandon shared that trauma caused him to feel alienated from society. He felt like there was no future for him besides the way he was raised. Initially arriving at the Mission uninterested in a relationship with God, Brandon said, “I’m a new man. God and faith in Him has completely changed my life.” 


“I’m a new man. God and faith in Him has completely changed my life.”

– Brandon, Life Recovery resident 

 


Today, his future is full of new, hope-filled beginnings. Brandon explained, “Program has taught us to be grateful for the things we have, for the things we’re not going without, for the times that God saved us from something.” Autumn echoed his sentiment about gratitude, saying, “I wake up excited every day. Every opportunity that I have to volunteer and give back gives me peace and joy in my heart.”



“I wake up excited every day. Every opportunity that I have to volunteer and give back gives me peace and joy in my heart.”

– Autumn, Life Recovery resident

 


 
These sentiments are a reminder that life change takes place every day in UGM’s shelters. Rewiring the brain and establishing healthy habits takes hard work and a serious commitment, but it is possible in the safe, loving environment at UGM. 


 


Hearing from Legacy Partners

UGM Legacy Partners, Matt and Nancy, spoke about their involvement at the Mission. To express their support of the Mission, they said, “We choose UGM.”  In addition to including UGM in their estate plan, Nancy has served as a volunteer at UGM for over six years. “I see the changes in the ladies [in program]. They think that we are blessing them, but they are truly blessing me,” Nancy shared.

Legacy-Partners

Matt became a volunteer after being inspired by his wife’s volunteer experience and attending the annual Life Recovery Commencement.


“I see the changes in the ladies [in program]. They think that we are blessing them, but they are truly blessing me.”

– Nancy, Volunteer and Legacy Partner

 


Nancy and Matt’s faith propels them to offer hope to the homeless for years to come. “God is the source of everything that comes our way.” The UGM community is thankful for their investment into the lives of the most vulnerable in our community.



“Thank you for everyone who contributes to UGM…It’s the reason I’m here and alive.”

– Brandon, UGM Life Recovery resident 

 

 

 


What’s Next? 

Many who attended the event brought household supplies for those who are finishing program and preparing to move into their new homes. If you weren’t able to attend, be sure to register for the next UGM Connect in Spokane and check out the Aftercare registry. We hope you’ll join in on the fun! 



UGM Connect. Learn more. >>
Your support helps offer a pathway out of homelessness and addiction. Thank you. 


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