Posted on: September 20, 2017
Hearts to Homes (H2H) is our ministry standing with members of our community coming out of homelessness. H2H is looking for people who are interested in contributing to St. John’s community outreach by being a mentor for a Hearts to Homes family. It’s a one-year commitment can mean many things: being a friend, offering a listening ear, helping with a budget, giving rides to a food shelf, or helping with job searches and resumes. Mentors will be paired with families through our YWCA partner and will be provided training and social work support through the YWCA as well as support from the Hearts to Homes committee. Being a mentor is an opportunity to gain a glimpse of another life, to be aware of the community in which we live and to gain a new way to love your neighbor. Please consider joining. For more information contact Rianna Matter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of our previous Hearts to Homes mentors share their stories:
Phyllis: “I mentored two single women, both with children. Our job was really just to ‘be with them.’ I was in touch with them by phone and in person, which might have been a coffee, or a lunch/dinner (one youngster wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese where they had an amusement area), or perhaps shopping for food or clothing. We did what was convenient for them as their lives were constantly under pressure. I think this may be very difficult for a lot of us to truly understand. Imagine yourself living from paycheck to paycheck (if they were lucky), and not have anyone upon who you could rely to help save you if a problem came up! No reliable parents nor any relative. Changes in housing bylaws or owners, re-organization of non-profits, and sudden changes in health are at the top of a long list of happenings that can push them over the edge. One knows this happens, but the knowing is on an intellectual level. Being a mentor makes one truly aware of the edge they are living on. ”
Patty: “When we talk about the outreach that we want to do through St. John’s, this is really an opportunity to help another person. To be a friend. It may be as simple as giving a ride to a food shelf, or it could be writing a resume. Writing a budget. Being a listening ear. The money is a subsidy to be a boost, but for the most part, being a mentor is just being there to give confidence and hope. To be an advocate and stand with someone.”
Diane: “In various ways, I tried to be supportive of the woman I mentored, who had some really big challenges in front of her. Sometimes I drove her to the grocery store or to appointments or to do essential errands. Occasionally I took her out to lunch. We always talked about what she was going through and her progress. I was very impressed with her. She has had to live through so much at her age compared to my own kids, and had virtually no family support. I am in awe of her resilience. I also learned about navigating your way through the legal system and what resources are out there for help. I realized that so much of what you have in life is due to the luck of the draw, the accident of birth. Some of what she went through was traumatic and very hard to watch. You realize a lot about women’s vulnerabilities and how hard so much can be for them. Being a mentor isn’t about fixing someone’s life or giving advice but more about walking beside them on the journey.”
Holly: ” I tried to establish trust by listening as well as I could to the woman I mentored, always showing up, and serving as a cheerleader for her progress. Besides the usual weekly conversations, I met her in coffee shops and also visited the family in their home. A couple times I brought pizza. There’s something about sharing food that can open people up. I learned how little support people sometimes get, and also how easily similarities between people can be discovered. I realized again how difficult it can be to live alone, no matter how smart you are, how physically strong, when no one has your back. This program helps women with this to some degree. You learn what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes in some pretty specific ways. Connections are out there to be made.”