Student Impact: Like Family

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Aug 23, 2017 10:11:40 AM

By Shatara Flowers, Student Impact Center resident intern


A year ago I would have never imagined I’d be in such a place, experiencing life in such unexpected and extraordinary ways with a team of people all running after the same thing. These same people today feel more like a family.

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UGM Camp: Love and Loyalty

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Aug 17, 2017 9:21:40 AM

By Danielle DePace, Youth Outreach Administrative Assistant


10-year-old Leo could be seen wandering by himself away from the rest of the campers, off in his own world. He seemed to be more interested in discovering new things around camp or investigating the bees on the lavender flowers outside of the chapel than he was interacting with his fellow campers or playing games. But instead of gaining a gaggle of new friends, Leo gained a big brother. 

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Cleaning Out Your Closet, Changing Someone's Life

Posted by Lynn Yount, Staff Writer Aug 11, 2017 10:40:16 AM

Of course, thrift stores are cool. Napoleon Dynamite and Macklemore told (and rapped) us that.

Thrift is also a smart and environmentally friendly choice for shopping. You can bag a real bargain by shopping secondhand for clothes, housewares, furniture and electronics.

But the real reason you should dig deep in your closets and cupboards and pack up the dustiest items is that the stuff you’re not using anymore can make an eternal impact on people’s lives.

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UGM Camp: The Luckiest One

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Aug 2, 2017 1:47:20 PM

By Annie Crain, Youth Outreach volunteer


“I must be the luckiest boy in the whole world!”

These were some of the sweetest words I’ve ever heard. The truth is, maybe he was one of the luckiest boys in the whole world.

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Domestic Violence: Why Does She Stay With Him?

Posted by Lynn Yount, Staff Writer Jul 26, 2017 2:30:50 PM

“I didn’t know how to leave.”


Rachael met Josh in a support group meeting. They were both on the right path – it must be destiny, right?

“I had 30 days clean and he had a year. For some reason, I was like, ‘He’s the one. I know it.’ ”

Josh told her he loved her. He would protect her. But Rachael’s mom saw something she didn’t like.

“He’s just like your dad,” she told Rachael.


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Volunteer Profile: Gary Leonard

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Jul 20, 2017 1:19:19 PM

By James "Rocky" Curtiss


Strangely enough, Gary Leonard’s commitment to volunteering at UGM started with a pillow.

UGM had put out a newsletter call for pillows. Gary saw it, went out and bought a new pillow and came to UGM to drop it off. Just as he entered the administrative offices, he ran into Phil Altmeyer, an old friend.

“Gary, what are you doing here?” Phil asked.

Gary laughed. “Well, I have this pillow and I’m looking for a place to sleep.”

“But, seriously, what are you doing here?”

Phil accompanied Gary into the building, where he ran into more old friends and ended up taking a tour of the expanded facilities. One thing led to another and Gary connected with Barbara Comito, UGM Marketing Director, and James Bishop, UGM’s multimedia producer. What a pleasant surprise to learn that Gary had 40 years of experience in radio, had recently retired and was looking to invest his time and talent in meaningful ministry.

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UGM Camp: No Longer Alone

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Jul 15, 2017 9:25:00 AM

By Danielle DePace, Youth Outreach Administrative Assistant


Looking at Hailey, you would think that she’s like any other 13-year-old, outgoing camp kid, but her story isn’t what you would expect. She grew up on and off the streets of Spokane with her family. When her family did have a place to stay, she would stay secluded in her room. She was shy and struggled with ADHD and anxiety, making her feel very alone in the world.

 Then, in 2015, a pastor came to her school and spoke about the Union Gospel Mission summer camp and this is what would change her life forever. 

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The Gospel: The Heart of Trauma Recovery

Posted by Lynn Yount, Staff Writer Jul 13, 2017 10:02:25 AM

We talked about trauma recovery and why it’s important for people like Jocelyne in July’s Mission News.

On one hand, it’s complicated: family relationships, genetics, personality and life history are so different from person to person. Though we can identify broad patterns in people under similar circumstances, their day-to-day needs and struggles vary widely.

On the other hand, it’s simple: Hurting people hurt other people, and only the Gospel brings the healing that breaks that cycle.

How does God see people who are suffering the effects of abuse and other trauma?

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Writing for Their Lives

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Jul 6, 2017 1:21:54 PM

Writing is one of the key subjects we work on in our Vocational Education classes. We want to prepare our residents to communicate well in their future jobs and personal lives, so creating opportunities for them to express themselves both personally and professionally is a top priority. 

They get practice typing journal responses in a Word document and attaching them to an email.  They also learn to write a business letter, a narrative story, and a persuasive essay, assignments that have proven handy in real life.  A couple of ladies had to write a business letter to recommend another resident in a court decision.  Another woman had to persuade a judge to reduce her child support payments while she was in the program. 

Some residents write their personal testimonies for their narrative story assignment - you can read one of them below.


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Untying Heart Knots

Posted by Phil Altmeyer, Executive Director Jun 29, 2017 3:39:45 PM

Every industry develops its own lingo. Shelters and recovery programs are no exception.

 We talk about “old wounds” and “relapse” and “triggers.” Our discussions revolve around “underlying causes” and “heart” talk, advocating “total accountability” and “life transformation.” If you’re entering into the conversation for the first time, it can be a bit confusing, and if you didn’t grow up in church, the confusion grows exponentially as one set of jargon mixes with another.

 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

To lay some groundwork, the Union Gospel Mission holds to the biblical definition of the heart as the center of the innermost being.

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