Empowerment Houses for the Homeless

Our #GivingTuesday campaign has begun and you can give quickly and directly via Facebook! What are we raising money for? Well that all starts with a story:

Around the start of 2019, our church received word that Loretta—a neighbor of ours—had ended up in the hospital and wasn’t expected to survive. At the same time she, her kids, and her grandkids lost their house, forcing them to look to friends for a place to stay. I ran to the hospital to see Loretta and things did not look good. All I could do was pray that the broken body in front of me would somehow recover.

We heard no news for sometime and then suddenly, I got a phone call from Loretta herself. She had miraculously pulled through the surgery! Her doctor said she had cheated death!

But the journey wasn’t over. She would spend the next several months recovering in the hospital. When she was finally released, she and her family had nowhere to go. They lasted as long as they could in a motel before moving into a shelter. A few weeks later, Loretta was hospitalized again and passed away, leaving her kids and grandkids in tears and more helpless than before.

When you work in a church, you’re often contacted by people needing immediate help for desperate situations—and often times, it seems there’s very little you can do. Situations like Loretta’s come with a heavy weight that appears impossible to carry.

But we here at 1208 Greenwood Church want to start seeking out answers and ensure that stories like that of Loretta’s force us to stand up and do something. That’s why we’ve begun work on a new project we call, “Empowerment Houses.” 

While we still have much to learn about these houses, they are meant to provide temporary housing for those in Jackson who need it while they are empowered to find stability again. Having served on the Jackson County Continuum of Care for several years now, I’ve seen that there are already many excellent resources and organizations in Jackson that can help with these situations. Our goal is to walk with people where they’re at while they navigate all of these avenues of assistance. Additionally, we want to work with them to understand the potential cycles in their own current challenges and support them as they move towards a flourishing life.

We sense that many of these houses could be established with grant money in the future, but first we need to pilot our program to prove its effectiveness and work out the kinks. That’s why we want to start this project by raising money for our pilot house—what we’re calling, “The Loretta House.” 

So this Giving Tuesday we’re asking the wider Jackson community to partner with us, because we know you share our heart on this matter. We know of quality houses we can purchase around the city for $60,000 so we’ve based our campaign around that number. We know this is a large sum, so whatever we do raise at the end of the day will be put toward this project when the time comes to make the next step.

Even if you don’t have any finances to give to the project you can help us get the word out by sharing this video across Facebook and any other social media platforms you use. Thanks for partnering with us to make this project a possibility and help us start having answers to really complex questions. From all of us at 1208 Greenwood: Thank you.

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