Dear Friend of the Mission,
Happy New Year! With this New Year comes the pleasure of a fresh beginning that is filled with hope in Christ for so many that we serve in this community. It is amazing that the Modesto Gospel Mission is heading into our 72nd year of providing hope and shelter to those experiencing homelessness and poverty in Stanislaus County. A lot has sure changed since the late forties and early fifties regarding homelessness in our community!
Lately we have seen the matter of homelessness take center stage at the city, county, and state level, in their collected attempts to find solutions for this unfortunate issue. Several months back, the 9th Circuit Court ruled that a city ordinance violated the 8th Amendment (“cruel & unusual punishment”) when it imposed criminal sanctions against homeless individuals for sleeping outdoors on public property when no alternative shelter was practically available to them. That 9th Circuit Court decision affected all of the cities and counties in the western states, including Modesto and Stanislaus County. The city of Modesto decided to deal with this ruling by providing one of our city parks (Beard Brook Park) as a location homeless folks could congregate in tents, and then transitioned that setting temporarily to the more structured Modesto Outdoor Emergency Shelter (“MOES”) under the 9th Street bridge. Last month, MOES closed upon the opening of the new Low Barrier Shelter on 9th Street, adding approximately 180 new shelter beds to the community to help combat the issue of homelessness. The causes and solutions for homelessness are varied and complex, and needs to be addressed through many different efforts. For example, some people need temporary assistance to get back on their feet, or even a one-time handout, while others are in desperate need for radical change to end a personal cycle of years of homelessness and addiction. We are pleased that the homeless problem is getting the attention it deserves, and thankful that you have stood with us as we have been fighting this problem for many years.
The Modesto Gospel Mission is 100% privately funded by individuals, businesses, and churches in the community. As such, it is one of the only local shelters that has freedom to infuse the love of Jesus and His Word into its programs. We exist to provide transformative solutions such as our 18-month New Life Program, New Beginnings, and Freedom Road Day Center, which leads destitute men and women through a comprehensive pathway whereby they can get help to move from homelessness to home.
“For 12 years I was a delusional and violent drug addict, but when I got out of jail and
came to the Mission, I felt very welcomed by the staff. As a New Life Program member,
I learned about being accountable to the people that truly care about me and learned a
sense of responsibility. Here at the Mission I was able to build a relationship with Christ,
find my church family, and I now serve as a part-time employee. I am so grateful to God
for making my testimony possible through the Modesto Gospel Mission.”
Historically, the Modesto Gospel Mission’s conviction is that each person is ultimately transformed through Jesus Christ, and only by His power do they completely break free of the barriers of chronic homelessness, addiction, and self-destructive behavior. I was one of those lives who needed the Mission. I was homeless and broken almost 13 years ago, and I joined and graduated the Mission’s New Life Program after being fed up with my lifestyle. We see all of those we serve as image barriers of God, regardless of what caused them to come through our doors. Our vision is that we can eliminate homelessness in this community one soul at a time by sharing the love and grace of Christ.
As we move forward, the Modesto Gospel Mission will continue to provide transformation through our various programs, which offers each person the emotional, physical, practical, and spiritual tools and relationships needed to break free of homelessness and start living the abundant life. We collaborate with other non-profit partners and local government leadership and agencies dealing with homelessness and mental health, and yet there is much that distinguishes us from the crowd. We are blessed to provide 225 beds each night to the homeless, run an 18-Month New Life residential transformation program, the only structured day center 7 days per week, and a thriving youth program for at-risk children. Most importantly, by receiving no government funds, we are free to proclaim the power of Jesus.
I personally thank you for being a champion to this ministry in your financial support and volunteer time. You are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ who still believe that He is the hope that so many people need. I ask that you prayerfully continue to give out of your resources to the Modesto Gospel Mission in 2020, as the need is still great.
Thank you again, and I hope each of you have a blessed New Year.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there
is no variation or shadow due to change.” – James 1:17
Jason Conway, Executive Director
New Life Program Graduate 2008
P.S. We are also excited to share with you our Annual Report that looks back on the last fiscal year and reports the impact your donations had on our hungry, hurting, and homeless neighbors. To see this Annual Report FY 2018-19 online, go to our website at www.modestogospelmission.org.