I figured no one could help me because I was so down.

I got to see who I am as a person, who I want to be as a person; the difference is night and day.

“You take the worst of the worst, and then you just bring them up to be flowers,” says Lynn, explaining the life-change she observed and experienced at Union Gospel Mission of Salem.  

When she first arrived in March of 2021, she felt nothing close to a vibrant flower. Cut off from a life source, she was wilting and finding hope was like squeezing blood from a turnip.  

“My atmosphere that I was around was more gloomy, I didn’t see any hope of getting out of it.” Before finding Simonka Place for Women & Children, she shuffled through a handful of shelters to keep herself off the streets. “None of them were any good,” says Lynn. 

When she arrived, the Mission wrapped their arms around her and proved that not all was lost; there was plenty of reason to look to the future expectantly.  

“Like so many of the singles that come to Simonka, Lynn was anxious, living in fear for her very next meal, terrified to be in a position that she was homeless,” says Program Supervisor DeDe Hazzard who went on to explain that both the Mission and community agencies began the work of restoration for mind, body, and spirit. 

“The classes I attended, the interactions… cognitive behavior therapy, trauma-informed care… I got to see who I am as a person, who I want to be as a person, and the difference is night and day,” says Lynn. 

Apart from Jesus Christ, our life source, we can do nothing. Lynn discovered that seeds of hope planted in her past once grew on rocky ground. But today, those seeds have germinated, and she is blossoming. 

Lynn’s move-out day before leaving for a transitional home.

As Jesus says, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing,” John 15:5. 

“When I first got [to Simonka Place], I felt that God wasn’t talking to me, or answering my prayers — it was just like ‘dry bone,’” Lynn explains. “And being here, going to church, and chapel, and classes, it all has been brought back.” 

Through you, God is changing lives. Your support of the Mission, no matter how large or small, is doing great things in the lives of men, women, and children.  

“This is an awesome place, and if you’re where I was, it’s the best place to go to get help.” 

Your gifts are supporting the programs and services that renewed Lynn and will renew many others. Donate today to change the face of homelessness for guests just like Lynn. 

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You see the people lined up outside the Mission, and you think “That would never happen to me. I’ve got a job, apartment…”
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