After three months living at the Burnside Shelter working in our Link ministry, Ron has now moved into independent housing! Several weeks ago, a handful of staff here at the Mission helped Ron pack up his belongings and move into the studio apartment he now calls home.
Haven’t read Part I yet? Read it here.
“I’m so excited. I’ve waited months to get into this place. During those months, I didn’t have money to stay anywhere, so I stayed at the Mission’s Link ministry. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
On move-in day, Ron and the Mission staff first stopped by the Community Warehouse, “a local, non-profit furniture bank that collects and redistributes donated furniture and household goods to neighbors in need” (www.communitywarehouse.org). Here Ron was able to get the things he needed – a bed, lamp, chair, etc. – free of charge.
“A lack of furniture and just the bare essentials is one of the big barriers that guys who are moving off the street have,” said Mike Savara, Portland Rescue Mission Outreach Specialist. “The Community Warehouse works with agencies like us, so only the most vulnerable people are being served.”
After gathering the items Ron needed, he and the team headed over to his apartment. Throughout the entire move-in process, Ron was overflowing with gratitude – not just for the move-in help, but for everything the Mission has done for him. “I would highly recommend anyone that sees me or hears about me – if they know people who’re having difficulties, bring them here to the Mission and show them the possibilities.”
And just because he’s not living at the Mission anymore doesn’t mean he won’t be around. In fact, Ron already has plans to start giving back.
“The Link ministry has been so good to me,” Ron said. “It’s now a place where I can go and do something useful. I’m going to continue doing work there.”
Ron especially appreciated that the Mission gave him a place to exercise.
“They let me use their weight room – that meant a lot to me. I’m gonna go back this weekend and take the equipment out to clean, vacuum, and mop the place. I want to make it nice and clean to use. The way I look at it, if I’m going to use it, I’m going to contribute to it.”
Ron also deeply values the friendships he made at the Mission. He’s made strong bonds with the staff, as well as other men in the program. Ron is excited to return to the Mission several times a week to not only volunteer and spend time with his friends, but also to meet and encourage newcomers to stick with the program.
As he moves on from living at the Mission, Ron spent quite a while reflecting on his time here.
“I learned to have patience,” he said. “It also brought me closer to the Lord. I’m not saying I’m a preacher now, but I’ve become a lot closer to God.”
Thanks to your support, Ron now joins the 120+ Link members who’ve successfully transitioned into housing and/or a job.
There are thousands of homeless men on the streets of Portland, and through your continued partnership with us through our Link ministry, together we can continue making a difference for people just like Ron.