Restoring Children to a Healthy Home

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Nov 28, 2018 8:39:00 AM

By JoAnn Zajicek, Director, Center for Women and Children

Not yet two years old, the girl consistently wakes up with night terrors. She’s been in three foster homes since birth. 

An 11-year-old boy stomps down the corridors with clenched fists, barely looking up. When he does, his young eyes are defiant and angry, clearly indicating a distrust of adults. Much of his early life was spent living under a dilapidated bridge and begging money for his mother.

A petite three-year-old, desperately craving attention and security from a father figure, continually runs up to male staff, clutching their trousers in hopes of being swooped into their arms.

These are just a few examples of the children we see at the Union Gospel Mission’s Center for Women and Children. They come from hurting homes. They’re too young to understand, but not too young to be hurt and impacted by the choices of others.

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Recovery: Facing Anger at God

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Jun 20, 2018 10:25:37 AM

“I was really angry with God and confused about…Well, if God really loves me, then how come I had to go through all this stuff? You know, there’s plenty of people out there that didn’t have to grow up the way I did or see the things I saw or get exposed to the things I was exposed to…And so, why me?”


Justin Norwood was born in Chicago to an alcoholic and a drug addict. His parents split up when he was five. When he was seven, he had to choose whether to move to Washington with his dad or stay with his mom. He went with his dad. They were homeless for two years.

“We bounced around, lived in his van a little bit here and there. My dad has a lot of family in the Tri-Cities, but they didn’t really want us staying with them for too long because my dad’s an addict and I had a lot of anger issues.”

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The Car Alarm in the Brain

Posted by Union Gospel Mission May 2, 2018 2:54:38 PM

We invited Dr. Mark Baird, a Whitworth University assistant professor and clinical psychologist who specializes in treating trauma, to speak about childhood trauma at the 2018 UGM Annual Gathering.  Afterward, we received multiple requests for the material in his presentation, so he graciously allowed us to publish his speech (edited for context) on the Impact Blog.


Childhood Trauma and Addiction

By Dr. Mark Baird

When I was approached about articulating the link between trauma, addiction, and homelessness, I was excited.  As a clinical psychologist and former Army psychologist, I have had the honor of hearing brave people’s stories of trauma.  To have an organization like UGM, which impacts so many lives, moving beyond the labels and behaviors to see the person and treat the trauma is, frankly, exciting for me!

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If “You’ll Never Amount to Anything,” Why Try?

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Apr 25, 2018 4:11:53 PM

My name is Guadalupe Granados. At 35 years of age, I feel like my life is just beginning. I’ve wasted so many years as a passive bystander, depressed, isolated, just letting life happen to me. But no more. This is my story.

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