If anyone has caught the HGTV show “House Hunters”, you know that it generally consists of folks browsing thru various houses introduced to them by their realtor and settling on the one that has the most space, located in a great neighborhood and possesses a fantastic view all for a price that is within budget. Or you yourself have scoured through hotel websites in search of the perfect place in which to create your summer memories of salty sea air, wilderness, lakeside or bright lights/big city vacation. A good size room with fluffy pillows and a view that doesn’t involve the dumpster outside or the air conditioning unit. All for a remarkably great price. Or you are a student, leaving home for the first time, ready to embark on this new journey called college. You enter your dorm room and excitedly put away your treasures from home and begin to settle into the unknown, feeling confident that numerous possibilities await you!
Now imagine, a family who only the night before had spent a frigid night in their vehicle with no home to call their own. This family walks into The Salvation Army not in search of the perfect home with a spacious backyard. Not on the hunt for one of the most amazing vacation spots on earth or checking out the temporary digs offered to students at colleges and universities around the world. No, this family enters our doors out of necessity.
They seek a hand up out of the ditch they have found themselves in and know that we can help with our transitional housing program designed for families and single women. This family has been advised on our program via referrals on how it will help a family get off the street and assist in transitioning them into a home of their own. A case manager conducts the tour of the facility and introduces them to their room. It contains a bedroom combined with a living room, a private shower, a small nook that consists of a microwave, small fridge, sink and cabinet space. They are shown the area where you can do your laundry and a family room where children can watch TV or play games. The family is then led downstairs to see the vast dining room area where all of the families come together for an evening meal. The case manager shares with them each detail of the program and as she speaks, the mother’s eyes wildly scan everything around her, not believing for a moment she would have ever ended up here. She does realize though, that she is at a stopping off point on her way from some difficult circumstances and moving forward in the direction of hope and change.
The rooms here aren’t fancy, they aren’t plush but what they do possess is a view. A view of God’s hand at work. An opportunity to shake off destructive and chaotic decisions along with life circumstances beyond your control and begin anew. People have a chance to view love, grace, mercy and hope at the core of the programs we offer. We guide, we encourage, we help to establish self discipline, we help to grow and cultivate the gifts within each person. The Salvation Army is also here to allow one to experience a new view of themselves. To understand that we all have a past, but with God leading the way, we can advance beyond the clouds and into the light of a new day!
“He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”~ Revelations 21:5