10 Lessons I keep learning at the Union Gospel Mission: Part 2

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Jul 9, 2014 1:13:00 AM

Editor's Note: A few days ago, volunteer David Wang shared a few of the lessons he’s learned spending time with homeless men in the day room at the UGM. Here, he finishes the list with five of the more sobering things he’s learning from that experience.

There are no easy answers - but then, that's not the point.

By David Wang, UGM High-Impact Volunteer

6. The lack of role models is a common thread for all these men.

None of these guys had men in their past they looked up to. Almost all come from troubled families. This lack of role models is a scar on them for the rest of their lives. For this reason, even “successful” cases of recovery and restoration often fail.

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10 Lessons I keep learning at the Union Gospel Mission: Part 1

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Jul 2, 2014 10:34:00 AM

Editor's Note: Washington State University professor David Wang is a volunteer in the day room at UGM. His is a ministry of relationship or, as David calls it, "presence." Here he shares what he has learned and continues to learn from spending time with men at the UGM shelter.

What I learned while working with the homeless

By David Wang, UGM high-impact volunteer

1. There is a large community of the poor with huge needs right in our midst.

It is good to be with these folks.  The Scriptures say much about direct ministry to the poor.  Isaiah 58:6-7: “Is this not the fast that I have chosen? To bring bread to the hungry, and to bring the outcast into my house?”  It means a lot to be accepted by some from this community; to be on a first-name basis with some of them. 

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RESCUE: A Ministry of Disappointments

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Jun 26, 2014 2:43:35 PM

Overcoming poverty, addiction and abuse

By Ron Hauenstein, UGM high-impact volunteer

Staff and volunteers at the Union Gospel Mission experience a constant cycle of emotional highs and lows. Daily we watch wounded people struggle to overcome addiction, poverty, dysfunctional relationships, economic hardships, and physical and emotional abuse. And frankly, more seem to stumble or fail than succeed.

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Homeless women: Who will believe in them?

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Feb 25, 2014 11:37:41 AM

Editor's Note: This is the first in a regular series, "The Crisis: a Troubling Reality." We will begin to examine and discuss the causes, conditions and possible solutions to the escalating number of homeless women and children.

Someone believed in me.

By Rich Schaus, Director of UGM Crisis Shelter for Women & Children

When I was born, there were some complications, so the doctor told my parents not to expect too much out of me.

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The Crisis Shelter: a safe place for homeless women and children

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Jan 17, 2014 10:25:00 AM

Seven years ago this week, UGM opened the Crisis Shelter for Women & Children at 1234 E Sprague. This week also marked the Shelter’s 10,000th check-in. (That doesn’t include the number of women using the overflow space – beds on the floor from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.)

“Water to the thirsty. Food to the hungry. Shelter for the homeless. The basics.” That’s the idea of the Crisis Shelter, said Director Rich Schaus.

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Rescue: From Homeless to Housed and Employed

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Jan 7, 2014 12:35:00 PM

Not everyone who walks through the doors of one of UGM’s shelters needs the same kind of help. Case in point: Tim Whitman.

Tim had been sober for two years before he came to the Men's Shelter. He’d been living and volunteering at Truth Ministries, a men’s shelter on East Sprague. He’s very grateful to Truth for helping him get sober and off the streets.

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Why is homelessness higher among veterans?

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Nov 5, 2013 9:54:00 AM


No one wants to see these men and women who have served our country living on the streets, holding cardboard signs and begging for food.

But what can we do to help?

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A little girl's dream

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Oct 16, 2013 3:35:00 PM

Amanda & daughter Daisy

"I think it's safe to say that when our residents were little girls, they did not dream of growing up to stay at a homeless shelter." - Rich Schaus, Director, UGM Crisis Shelter for Women & Children.

And they were little girls once. 

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Meet Lenore

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Oct 14, 2013 11:59:00 AM

Lenore puts together the welcome baskets for new guests at the Center.

From my perspective, Lenore McDonald is a volunteer extraordinaire. She says it was only by an act of God that she came to serve at the Union Gospel Mission Center Women and Children in Coeur d'Alene.

After losing her job in July 2012, Lenore spent the following six months searching for a job, while juggling a strained marriage and a life in turmoil.

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Americorps Adventure

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Oct 4, 2013 1:01:00 PM

Next week,* Luke Hauflin, 21, will be headed off to Sacramento, California to join Americorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). For now, he is living at the UGM Men's Shelter, helping keep the place in tip top shape as part of the housekeeping team.

His supervisor, Rob Meredith, praised his work ethic: "Luke is super conscientious and goes above and beyond what is asked of him. He makes my job a lot easier." 

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