How You’ve Made a Difference in 2014
REFUGE OF HOPE – NECESSARY…OR NOT?
Is Refuge of Hope (ROH) really needed in our community? Or, is it a nice-to-have convenience that wouldn’t be missed if the doors were closed today?
To answer those questions, let’s first take a look at the numbers. Consider:
- Nearly 30% of Canton residents live at or below the federal poverty level.
- In the past six years, the number of meals served to hungry men, women and children through ROH’s Meal Ministry has risen from 14,500 annually to 73,322 in 2013.
- In that five year span, bedded nights provided annually have increased from 8,800 to 16,280 in 2013.
- The shelter has been occupied at over 100% capacity for the past three years topping out at 132% last year. Cots are used when all beds are taken.
Numbers can measure value but there are others ways to do so as well. ROH meets vital needs in the community by providing: 1) spiritual guidance as necessary; 2) free, hot, nutritious meals for hungry men, women and children; 3) free shelter, hot meals, showers, clothing, transportation and other basic necessities for homeless men; 4) social interaction and a sense of belonging for ROH meal guests and shelter clients; 5) hope; 6) a sense of self-worth, and 7) a conduit to other local social service agencies.
A final measure …when a dinner guest says thank you for providing a meal for her family…when a homeless veteran expresses appreciation that he was cared for when no one else would…when a family is able to pay a portion of a utility bill or rent with money saved by eating a meal at ROH…or when a lonely senior citizen can enjoy a time of friendship and social interaction along with their meal – in each case, a positive difference has been made in the life of a person in need. Value: priceless!
Numbers make it easy to define an issue but they also cause a problem. Numbers are impersonal and they cause us to be that way, too. The fact is that each number above is a person, maybe someone you know personally.
Refuge of Hope’s mission is to serve God by serving those who live in dire circumstances. The last thing any of us want to worry about every day is when we will get our next meal or if there will be a safe place to sleep at night.
Make a difference. Shelter homeless men.