Crabby maybe distant.
Angry maybe bitter.
Frown, no smile to be seen.
Last resort, stuck, afraid.
These are just some of the words that described Patrice the day she moved into Hope Street. To be honest when I had my initial meeting with her I didn’t think she was going to make it. Not because she didn’t want to make it. But her attitude was going to potentially be a little too toxic for our environment. Most of her initial responses to Hope Street was “I am not” or “I will not”. She didn’t like her roommate, she didn’t like the rules and didn’t have time for staff. All of it was out of necessity of being off the street and yet, it all seemed to make her situation worse. She was fed up.
Full of Hope, absolute peace.
Content, even joyful.
Smile, no reason to frown.
Home, free, ready to be transplanted.
612 days later Patrice stands smiling, ready, and excited to embark on the journey ahead of her. She is employed full time, pays her bills on time, plugged into small groups and asks for help when needed. We stand proud, overjoyed and selfishly sad to see her go. But it didn’t happen overnight.
Somewhere along the way Patrice embraced community. She saw that her well being was connected to those around her. She learned to share, to be present and to take healthy risks. She went through the process, softened to her reality, owned her part and set out to do different, to be different. She realized it was safe to be vulnerable and real. She learned to cope through days that were difficult and celebrate the ones that provided breakthrough. She embraced the fact that we didn’t expect her to have all of her “stuff” together in order to love her. She allowed herself to be known and in turn wanted to know us.
We provide a safe environment for people to make choices, we choose to walk alongside them in good and bad choices, and God does the transforming. Patrice is a great example of why we fight so hard to do things the way we do. We are in it for the long haul, because transformation is true life change. Temporary modification will allow us to check the box, but leads to poor choices the minute someone is “out of our grasp”. The process isn’t for everyone. It can be inefficient by the world’s standards but necessary in order to be effective. It can appear a little too much like a regular ol’ apartment building, and it is messy, difficult and often heart wrenching.Yet, life happens inside of healthy communities. Our members have created a healthy environment for all to flourish.
Don’t believe me? Just look at Patrice.
When our members sign the agreement to live at Hope Street we offer up front how we will be a part of the day they are transplanted back into the community. If a member has lived at Hope Street for the required 6 months, completed all three phases (belong, believe and behave), and is currently flourishing (which looks different for everyone); we will furnish their new home. This is a part of the process we want to invite you into. Patrice needs the following items for her new apartment: couch, dresser, kitchen table & chairs, side table, shower curtain, bath rugs, towels, dishes, pots & pans.
Don’t have any of those items? Click the donate tab below if you would like to contribute to the shopping trip we will take Patrice on to purchase the items she needs. Thank you for your role in providing a space for stories like Patrice’s to take place.
Last but not least a prayer as Patrice moves on.
Lord, thank you for the opportunity to know and be known by our sister Patrice. Thank you for the work you have done in and through her. Thank you that we got a glimpse of her process. We pray that you would protect her as she continues on her journey free from addiction, poor choices and unhealthy relationships. May her heart long to continually seek after you, after community, and live in grace. May she continue to be a bright light shining for your glory. We celebrate with you.
There is something special about a place that keeps producing powerful stories.