“It’s not like I’m doing anything special, because I love it so much.”
Ask Jenny Gasperino why she volunteers at the Union Gospel Mission, and you’ll always get a humble answer like this. She calls her work at the Crisis Shelter for Women & Children part of her “addiction to UGM.”
And while “addiction” might be too strong a word, it isn’t far off the truth. If she didn’t have other responsibilities, Jenny would be at the Crisis Shelter even more than three days a week. But she says she’s even grown in her roles as a wife and mother because of her time at the shelter.
She’s learned a lot about accountability, about boundaries. She’s also learned about God’s grace and how he’s created and blessed her in a unique way.
Many children at UGM with their moms have been through chaos, trauma, neglect, abandonment, or even abuse. Here are five things they need in order to heal and restore their relationship with their parents.
Moms who enter the UGM Recovery program at Anna Ogden Hall often have open cases with Child Protective Services. Staff like Kamee help them navigate all the requirements and successfully reunite with their children.
The emotional and psychological scars are not immediately visible, but they're just as real as the bruises. Helping homeless women and children takes time, consistent love and support, a commitment to building trust.
Meet Teria Kelley, the "House Mom with 70 Kids." She's Resident Services Coordinator at the Center for Women and Children, which helps women and families break cycles of homelessness, abuse and addiction.