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2 min read

No Place like UGM for the Holidays

“What did Christmas look like in the past?”

“I never had a Christmas…I did growing up, I had Christmas cause my mom made it. But as I got deeper and deeper into my addiction, I didn’t care. Now, Christmas to me is totally different because it’s about Christ.”

Lisa is one of the many UGM residents who is spending this holiday season at the Mission and away from home.

“So, Christmas at UGM has perhaps been better than in the past?”

“Oh sure! Because I learned to get everything out that kept me in addiction…now it’s a lot brighter.”Lisa.jpg

The holidays you can’t be home

In many ways, spending the holidays away from home is a mixed bag for residents. Chris, who’s in Men’s Recovery, explains, “This is actually the first Christmas away from family. It’s very humbling to go through that.”

Jessaca in Women’s Recovery agreed, “At first, it’s sad because you’re away from your family; and I’m married which makes it extra hard. But you get to see all the blessings that come here. And people are dropping stuff off just to be like, 'I’m thinking about you and I care.'”

At the Men’s Shelter, resident Shane feels the community makes up for being apart from family. “The advantage is you’re around brothers in Christ here, who keep you accountable.”

In the past, many of the men and women at the Mission spent Christmas in their addiction. Accountability helps prevent relapse during what can be a difficult or painful time of year for those coming to our shelters.

“I struggled around Christmas time. I was just drunk all the time, and I didn’t care,” says Lisa.

Andrea, another Women's Recovery participant, expressed, “I always provided for my kids, but it was unstable.”

"This is home."

Andrea continued, describing the contrast between past holidays and this year’s spent at UGM. “Christmas isn’t here yet, but just the taste we’ve already gotten, it’s probably gonna be the best Christmas we’ve had in years.”Chris_Turner.edited.jpg

Despite his disappointment being away from family this Christmas, Chris feels he’s where he needs to be to remain in recovery. “I need to be here. It is good…it’s necessary for right now. I have to give this up to get what I want, and that’s fine.”

For some, UGM is home for the holidays.

“What is it like not spending the holidays at home?”

Lisa contemplated the question. “Home…well, to a point, this is home. I do have a ‘home’ out there, I see it, and I go there, but…I’m sitting here looking at that tree thinking, this is home.

The people, the generosity, the love, the accountability, these are what make UGM special during the holiday season…and throughout the year. And you, the community, make the season brighter.

Thank you for partnering with UGM to create a place men and women can call “home” and for making the holidays an extra special time of year for all of our residents.

Merry Christmas!

Provide for those in need this Christmas. Give food, shelter, and more. 

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