January 10, 2010
I came into contact with The House of Refuge ( THOR) Jan 31, 2007. I volunteered for the Point in Time Count, a snapshot of the homeless population here in Burke County, N.C. I got drawn into there plight in life because of my experiences during downtrodden times. David and Kathy Collins, who organized this Point in Time count was in association with a national movement to eradicate homelessness in ten years. An impossible dream? Maybe, but its better than no dream at all. David and Kathy had this calling and followed their dream in this little southern town. With very little encouragement from the political powers that be here, they accepted the homeless into their home, yes their private, personal home. Many warned them of the potential dangers of the violent nature of this population, one even brought them a gun to protect themselves. Relying on faith, and common sense precautions--like treating them as human beings--there have been no physical altercations and no need for a gun, which, by the way, they disposed of immediately. The naysayers have been quieted, the disbelievers have become believers, and the political powers that be have tempered their view from, "What homeless problem in this tourist, retirement mecca?", to "Well maybe there are a few, and they should stay hidden." Anyway, for the last 3 yrs. David and Kathy have literally, single handedly housed, fed, clothed, enhanced, and placed the majority of them into a more stable environment. For the details and statistics contact refugeministries.us I have personally been involved with this ministry from the daily hands on driving them to the house, making tea, coffee, fixing dinner, getting socks underwear, washing dirty clothes to case managing their transition to finding jobs and their own living quarters. This has enriched my life many times over and has given me a more stable standing in my own spirituality, my self esteem, and has given more meaning to, "I can only keep what I give away." Today, we are getting ready to move from a 5 bed facility to a 20 bed facility, thanks to the generosity of individuals and churches, who have been looking for an outlet to funnel their resources into a viable working system to help the disaffiliated. During the last 2 months, November, December and now half of January we have been sheltering 9-12 persons per night and on life-threatening weather days, the day also at David and Kathy's house. The new facility is not too far off. I am pleased and honored to play a small part in their vision and to tell my story.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
helping men who have been separated from their families, reunited; homeless find homes and jobs.
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About every week
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
MY ROLE:Board Member & I help with physical assessments, case management, fundraising.