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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What the Union Gospel Mission is all about

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Jun 20, 2014 1:05:48 PM

The Living, Breathing Story

By Barbara Comito, UGM writer

Sometimes I love my job. Tuesday night was one of those times. Twenty-five men and women took turns standing in front of a crowd of about 600 people at Valley Assembly Church and said, in a whole variety of ways, “I’m different now because you believed in me, because you showed me the love of God, because He got ahold of me and didn’t let go. Thanks. Thank you. Really, I don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for the people who support the Union Gospel Mission.”

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Eddie Collins: from homeless junkie to business owner

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Apr 18, 2014 12:03:00 PM

A Junkie No More

Photo by Robert Peterson

Eddie Collins was the subject of my first newsletter feature when I came to UGM in January 2008. He had arrived at the Men’s Shelter a year earlier and was nearing the end of the recovery program.

That interview with Eddie six years ago was an affirmation that I was in the right place. In my own interview when I was applying to be the writer for UGM, I told Phil Altmeyer I might not know much about homelessness, but I knew how to tell a story and I believed everyone had a story to tell. Eddie illustrated my point perfectly.

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College and Career Dreams Restored

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Oct 24, 2013 3:56:00 PM

Roxanne and Doreen

Roxanne and Doreen are bright, articulate women whose lives got off track.

“In high school,” Roxanne said, “I just wanted to be a mom.” She got married at 19, had her first child at 20. After two failed marriages fraught with domestic violence and control issues, she found herself alone, overwhelmed and unable to care for her two daughters: Victoria, 14, and Monet, 10. 

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UGM Motors: Brittany and Brooklyn get new wheels

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Sep 9, 2013 11:58:00 AM

Reliable transportation critical for single moms

Brittany Branch had a car when she started Women’s Recovery at Anna Ogden Hall – a 1988 Dodge Caravan with close to 200,000 miles.  Last winter, another car slid on the ice and smashed into it. Then, this spring, just before she started her new job at the UGM Thrift Store and moved into her own place with two-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, the brakes went out, followed quickly by the transmission. The cost of repairs was prohibitive and exceeded the value of the vehicle. 

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Real-world work

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Jul 9, 2013 9:53:00 AM

Robert Lewis turned to drugs and alcohol partly in response to frustrations in the work place.

“My addiction came from always trying to be a workaholic,” Robert said. After overworking in hopes of promotions that never came, Robert felt he deserved to escape. “When I would eventually get off work, it was my time to play.” 

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Lost and Found: the Steve Viers Story

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Apr 22, 2013 2:47:00 PM

Steve Viers went through UGM Recovery and was hired as the chef at the UGM Men's Shelter. His story was told through the following video at the UGM 2013 annual banquet. Although Steve has moved on to other culinary opportunities, the story of his restored relationship with his mother is still a powerful one.

After you watch the video, you might be interested in the letter below from Steve's mother, Nancy Helldorfer:

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Update on Sheldon & Rowdy

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Apr 1, 2013 4:15:00 PM


Sheldon has finished the first four phases of Men’s Recovery and is now in the final transition phase. He works full-time in production at the UGM Thrift Store downtown – cleaning, repairing, pricing and moving merchandise to the sales floor. He lives in his own apartment at the Barnabas House, UGM’s clean-and-sober transitional housing for men.

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Questions for you

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Mar 27, 2013 4:54:00 PM

Last December, when the Marketing team chose this passage as UGM's theme for 2013, we were mostly thinking about how Jesus works inside this ministry. And it certainly fits. We have seen - time and time again - how He sets people free from fears and addictions, how He oh-so-tenderly cleans and bandages painful wounds, how He whispers comfort in the ears of those who are grieving.

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Back to work

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Feb 25, 2013 2:21:12 PM

Robert Miller - Columbia Medical Robert Miller, medical records at Columbia Medical

One in Ten: Odds that a person who has been out of work for more than 27 weeks will find a job this month.

5,002,000: The long-term unemployed, measured by the number of Americans unemployed and searching for work for more than 27 weeks, was 5 million in the month of October 2012. (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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