Merrily Brast, Staff Writer

Recent Posts

Learning about Grace and Truth

Posted by Merrily Brast, Staff Writer Nov 23, 2016 2:49:53 PM

Almost exactly two years ago, I came to Union Gospel Mission at a time when I was learning what felt like extremely hard (but extravagantly important) lessons. Lessons about God and about myself.

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One Veteran's Journey to a Homeless Shelter

Posted by Merrily Brast, Staff Writer Nov 11, 2016 4:27:42 PM

Military service ran in Ben’s family. Growing up, he planned to follow suit. But first, he wanted to let loose.

“I moved to Arizona and I started playing with some guys in a band. I was looking for crazy and I got it. It was partying every night, then dragging to work after three hours of sleep. It was fun in the beginning, but it just kinda got old.”

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Lose the Label: Performer

Posted by Merrily Brast, Staff Writer Nov 3, 2016 4:03:25 PM

He had the jobs, made the money, wore the nice clothes, had the stuff, but Eric Samuels never quite felt good enough.

“I was striving to do good all the time, and that’s how I was gonna get approval.”

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Rachel: A Year Later

Posted by Merrily Brast, Staff Writer Sep 30, 2016 3:43:12 PM

A year ago, you may have seen a beautiful, bright red-haired woman named Rachel on some of UGM’s billboards, with the word "Addict" crossed out. You may have even seen her billboard recently.

Rachel went through Women’s Recovery at Anna Ogden Hall and graduated this past June.

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Lose the Label, See the Human.

Posted by Merrily Brast, Staff Writer Sep 9, 2016 4:26:10 PM

Hopefully, you're seeing new billboards going up around Spokane and Kootenai County similar to the ones we put up last fall.

Our “Lose the Label” campaign is an effort to transfer our attention from outward appearances to the individuals behind those labels. 

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Comforting with the Comfort She Received

Posted by Merrily Brast, Staff Writer Aug 24, 2016 5:11:58 PM

September 2018: This post was first published in August 2016. Since that time, the Crisis Shelter has moved to a new, much improved facility. (Yay! Thank you to everyone who supported the project.) There have also been a lot of change in Kat's life. When we asked her for an update, she sent a great letter that now makes up the first part of this post.

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Caring for People through Their Animals

Posted by Merrily Brast, Staff Writer Jul 15, 2016 2:19:51 PM

Behind UGM’s Men’s Shelter, out by the maintenance building, sits the veterinary clinic – a hidden but nonetheless impactful resource at UGM. Completely run by volunteers, the clinic serves individuals who can’t afford medical care for their pets.

Meet Denise, the head veterinarian in the clinic.

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Celebrating Beauty from Pain

Posted by Merrily Brast, Staff Writer Jun 23, 2016 4:27:15 PM

The stories of the 33 men and women who graduated from UGM LIFE Recovery on Tuesday are diverse – addiction, unhealthy and broken relationships, depression.

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Graduation Spotlight: Kat and Kanesha

Posted by Merrily Brast, Staff Writer Jun 16, 2016 4:57:12 PM

Upcoming graduates Kat and Kanesha met at the Crisis Shelter.

Before coming to UGM, Kat looked to material things – money, houses, cars – for her value. But nothing quite filled the emptiness she felt. She turned to drinking and drug use and was in and out of jail. She even tried to end her life.

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Graduation Spotlight: Wendy Ross

Posted by Merrily Brast, Staff Writer Jun 2, 2016 3:52:38 PM

“I remember asking Rich [UGM former staff member], ‘Why is it so much easier for women to make a commitment to guys they hardly know than to make a two-year commitment to better their life?’”

Wendy described herself as a relationship addict before coming to UGM. She wanted more in life but settled for unhealthy relationships instead.

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