Trauma, Time, Trust: Helping Homeless Women

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Nov 21, 2018 11:30:05 AM

By Diane Hutton, Director, Crisis Shelter for Women and Children


Women often come into the shelter for the first time very fearful, broken and anxious. No one wants to come here: It’s the last resort.

That’s what it was when Penny* checked in. She and her children had fled an abusive partner. Her face was still black and blue from their last fight. When they arrived they were cold, scared and her daughter clung to her.

Staff got them warm blankets and some hot tea. They reassured Penny she was safe and she would be OK.

Penny’s response was, “I feel broken. I don’t think I’ll ever be right again.”

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Family Breakdown: Restoring a Damaged Masterpiece

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Nov 14, 2018 4:43:09 PM

By Sonny Westbrook, Director of Ministries

All of God’s ways are perfect.  One of His ways for life on planet Earth was to create the family unit. 

As we see in the Scriptures, the original family by His design consisted of a man named Adam with his wife named Eve. Prior to creating Eve, He declared that it is not good for man to be alone. And then He undertook to create the  first woman and, as it were, He performed the first marriage ceremony.  We see all this revealed in Genesis, chapters 1 and 2

Further, God planned that the man and the woman would be given a role in releasing God’s reproductive powers and would be enabled by Him to “be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth.”  So by Genesis 4, we see the beginnings of this as we are introduced to the  first of Adam and Eve’s offspring, two sons named Cain and Abel. This was all by God’s design and made possible by His coactive involvement in creating the human family.

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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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The Gospel: The Heart of Trauma Recovery

Posted by Lynn Yount, Staff Writer Jul 13, 2017 10:02:25 AM

We talked about trauma recovery and why it’s important for people like Jocelyne in July’s Mission News.

On one hand, it’s complicated: family relationships, genetics, personality and life history are so different from person to person. Though we can identify broad patterns in people under similar circumstances, their day-to-day needs and struggles vary widely.

On the other hand, it’s simple: Hurting people hurt other people, and only the Gospel brings the healing that breaks that cycle.

How does God see people who are suffering the effects of abuse and other trauma?

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Kevin: “My life revolved around avoiding pain.”

Posted by Lynn Yount, Staff Writer Jun 22, 2017 2:16:47 PM

“I ended up on the streets, homeless and literally sleeping outside, and UGM offered a place to stay. It’s better than not having a roof over your head, so that’s how I got here.” – Kevin Downey

We all need food. We all need protection from the elements. If we didn’t, the Union Gospel Mission wouldn’t exist in the first place. But those things in themselves are only a small part of the picture.

That’s what Kevin found out when he came to UGM for a meal and protection from the snow. Now, he’s an alumnus of the LIFE Recovery Program – and, as he says, “a whole different person.”

Here are three other needs – just as important as food and shelter – that he had met at the Union Gospel Mission.

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Charity that works

Posted by Phil Altmeyer, Executive Director May 26, 2017 3:09:34 PM

The recent tension between the City of Spokane and Blessings Under the Bridge actually points to a positive bottom line: Spokane is an extremely compassionate city, giving generously to a variety of charities working to care for those on the fringes of our society. I am grateful to live in a community where those who have been blessed freely share what they have with those who are hurting.

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Recovery and Vocational Education Go Hand in Hand

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Apr 6, 2017 9:42:18 AM

When trauma and schoolwork intersect

By Joel Brown, Vocational Education Manager

It is 9:25 in the morning and Billy (named changed to protect privacy) is just arriving to school.  The rest of the kids have already started their entry task and are working diligently to be the first to complete it.  Billy, however, slowly walks into the class and over to the teacher.  For the most part, he gets along with the adults in the classroom; however, because his clothes are dirty and rarely get washed the other students tend to stay away.  The teacher stealthily reaches into her desk drawer and pulls out a granola bar for Billy to eat.  He rarely gets breakfast. 

Billy isn’t doing very well in school; he participates when he can, but gets easily frustrated when he doesn’t understand the material.  In addition to struggling with learning, Billy also struggles with confrontation and authority and spends a lot of his school day in detention.

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Trauma Recovery

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Feb 14, 2017 3:43:24 PM

This month on the Impact Blog, we’re looking at issues of the mind: sadness, depression, anxiety, mental illness, darkness vs. light. There’s a wide spectrum of struggles there, and we’re tapping UGM’s experts to provide helpful explanations – and hope! – for people who struggle with these on an ongoing basis. Here, John looks at how childhood trauma continues to affect victims in adulthood, and why LIFE Recovery takes a long-term approach to helping them.

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