Thank you for being a part of providing a safe place for 225 men, women, and children on a nightly basis to shelter, obtain a meal, and receive a continuum of care that provides a path out of homelessness. It is the heartbeat of the Modesto Gospel Mission to provide refuge for recovery and restoration through the power and love of Jesus Christ. Last month, I wrote to you about the Mission’s role as a refuge for recovery for those who are homeless. This month, I wanted to share with you the Mission’s role in restoration of the homeless individual. These two roles are often linked, and your contributions and volunteer hours make the outcome of restoration possible.
I experienced this restoration myself some 12 years ago, when I came through the doors of the Modesto Gospel Mission homeless and broken. Of course, the foremost catalyst of change that produces this restoration is the person of Jesus Christ. Here at the Mission we also get to partake in this restoration process. I have also been able to see this same transformation experience happen to so many others over the years, in part, through the Mission’s 18-month New Life Program. This same program is the one that I graduated from over 11 years ago. This program introduced me to Jesus and discipled me in the way to live as a new creation. It also gave me tangible tools, training, and opportunities to walk in freedom and become a productive member of my community. Currently, the Mission has 39 men and 19 women that are a part of the New Life Program, and each has the hope of restoration through the power and the love of Jesus.
The New Life Program is a robust program designed to help individuals escape homelessness through practical, spiritual, emotional, social, educational, vocational, and financial teaching and training. During these 18 months, men and women disciples are rebuilding a work ethic through a simple 8-hour workday of odd jobs around the facilities; they meet weekly with a chaplain for accountability and planning; they attend daily Bible studies; they meet for financial counseling and life skills classes weekly; and they choose a local church to attend.
After 12 months in the New Life Program, the disciples receive vocational counseling and are equipped to seek and secure employment, pay off debt, and save money for transitioning out of the program. After working in a paid job and graduating from the New Life Program, disciples are then offered the opportunity to rent a transitional apartment for 6 months to 1 year. These apartments that the men and women move into are owned by the Modesto Gospel Mission. The rent that the graduates pay to the Mission for the transitional apartment is heavily discounted; at the end of the 6-12 months’ rent period, the Mission then remits up to 75% of the amount of rent that was paid to the graduate’s new landlord to cover the security deposit and first and last month’s rent. This mechanism helps to secure the graduate’s own place in this community and completes the path from homelessness to a stable home.
A great recent example is Larry, who just moved out of our transitional apartments and into his own permanent apartment.
“I am a graduate from the New Life Program at the Modesto Gospel Mission. Upon graduating, I was blessed with the opportunity to move into the Mission’s “transitional housing unit” that’s available to graduates of the program. I did not want to return to my hometown in the Bay Area, but wanted to create a new beginning away from my old roots and away from the people I know that were still caught up in their addictions. During my 14-month stay in transitional housing, God heard and answered my prayer for my own apartment. Now each and every day that I wake up in my own apartment, I am in awe of how God blesses those who humble themselves and wait on Him! The serenity, peace of mind, and joy I feel can’t be described in words alone, and it makes me dwell on the words of Jeremiah 29:11-13.”
As supporters of the Modesto Gospel Mission, you are actively displaying the heart of Christ each time you volunteer, give a donation, or provide financial contributions. You participate and enable this restoration process to take place in the hearts and minds of our men, women, and children. Thank you for changing my life and thank you for investing in these 58 men and women who are currently in the New Life Program. With your continued financial support, we will be able to grow this program to our goal of 75 men and women by the end of the summer. Thank you for your generosity and sacrificial giving! Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or if you would like to tour the Modesto Gospel Mission.
Jason Conway, Executive Director