Bridging the Gap

Help us make ends meet.springAs you read the following, we hope that you will put yourself inside this story and imagine what we experience on a day to day basis. The best way to describe how your donations will be used is to consider the cost of running a household.  Imagine being given the weighty responsibility of providing a home for a family with two children. This isn’t just your average family; this family has come to you from a war torn area and they are very unsure about whether you are to be trusted. Looking into their hungry eyes would most likely prompt a trip to the local grocery store. As they walk beside you, up and down the aisle, it is easy to see that they have many needs. However, you stick to a very strict budget that includes food, paper products and hygiene items. You dip into your wallet and cover the cost. You bring them to your home, turn on the lights, bring them to your table, turn up the heat and prepare their food. After they are full, it is hard not to notice that the hunger in their eyes has turned to weariness. They need a place to sleep; a warm, clean, secure place to rest. You show them to their room, invite them to draw a bath or take a shower, turn back the blankets on the bed and ask them to make themselves comfortable. You know the utilities may be a little higher this month, but you think that maybe you can cut back on something else. However, you know you will cover the cost. You lock down the house for the night and as you walk past the door of their room, you hear someone crying. You know they have so many needs besides just the physical comforts that you can provide. In the middle of the night you hear someone scream. You jump and run to make sure no one is hurt. The doors are secure, no one is there. In your mind you calculate the cost of providing better security as this war rages on. You go to their room and learn that the scream came from a bad dream brought on by the fear that surrounds each member of this little family. After all is settled, you think about the high cost of helping them heal and shake your head.  How will you be able to cover the cost? The following days are filled with finding a way to provide clothing, school supplies, getting them to doctor’s visits and finding resources to keep them safe. It seems that there is one hurdle after the other for this family.  You fill your gas tank one more time, and as you’re driving them home you finally hear the children playing and enjoy the sound of their laughter. The importance of what you’re doing becomes clearer. You know without a doubt that you have to find a way to cover the cost. Now, imagine being given the weighty responsibility of providing a home for twenty-eight (28) families. Some of these families have two children; many have more than three. As you stand there looking into the eyes of say 85 people … how will you cover the cost?

When the shelter and all transitional houses are full, which is the majority of the time, Safeplace provides safe haven for at least 28 families. That includes everything mentioned above and much more. These families come to shelter from their own war zones; hungry, tired and afraid. They may stay a week; they may stay a month or more. The longer they stay, the better their chances of survival. When they are able to make it on their own, their future and the future of their children is changed for the better. This is all possible because someone like you helped to cover the cost and bridge the gap.

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