Step inside UGM’s Simonka Place for Women and Children and you’ll instantly be greeted with a friendly smile and warm welcome. Within these walls, struggling women and children find the help they need to regain their lives and rediscover joy. God has called a multitude of staff and volunteers to be a part of this life-changing ministry. Because they responded to His call, Simonka Place staff and volunteers are able to serve nearly 700 guests each year!
Brenda Newey distinctly remembered her calling.
Brenda first came to Simonka Place as a guest who later graduated from the New Life Fellowship program. Afterwards, she was called to serve those who were once in her shoes. In fact, when asked about her job, she compared it to “a well-loved, comfortable shoe.” Brenda has been at UGM for 6 years and currently serves as the Transitions Case Manager.
As the Transitions Case Manager, Brenda helps guests gain computer skills, build resumes for job interviews and gain the confidence needed in order to be successful. This is only a handful of the many ways Brenda serves those staying at Simonka Place. “I wear many hats,” she says with a smile.
Brenda also meets with ladies once a week for one-on-one sessions and has been known to personally drive women to interviews if they do not have transportation. Besides job training skills, Brenda assists with creating monthly budgets to help women become financially secure.
Brenda’s commitment to the residents is coupled with accountability. Similar to an employee/employer relationship, meeting times are scheduled and days off are requested in advance. “Nothing is forced,” Brenda explains, gesturing to the sign-in sheet on her door. Women are encouraged to continue through the program, but they must make the decision to do so. She encourages women to continue the good fight and to not lose hope.
Every day, God is working through servants like Brenda to bring more people towards a renewed life. God is using the staff at UGM, volunteers and supporters to breathe tangible change into our community.
Would you like to be a part of what God is doing at UGM? Below are some ways you can help.
Some of the needs for Simonka Place are:
Bus passes, cold medications (alcohol and benadryl free), laundry soap, twin sheets, dryer sheets, towels, blankets, wash cloths and children’s chapel presenters.