The Center for Respite Care, one of HPCUMC’s ministry partners, is a home for those who need it more than anyone else – those who are homeless and sick. The purpose of the Center for Respite Care is to provide those suffering from homelessness a place to recuperate after a hospital stay instead of returning to the streets and ending up sick again. It is at Respite that people suffering from homelessness find identity and love that has been missing from their lives for so long. My experience with Respite has been one filled with laughter, stories, and new understanding.
Volunteering at Respite gave me a new perspective on the lives of those suffering from homelessness and it provided new insights to those who participated in Summer Impact. At the end of each week, we would recount the ups and downs of Summer Impact, and the most impactful experience. Countless times, the Center for Respite Care was named because of their unique mission and the new understanding it provided to the volunteers. It was in this safe environment we talked about the prejudice we began the day with, and the openness and love we felt at the end of the day. It was also through these talks that we saw the way God worked through our hearts and worked through the lives of these people.
The Center for Respite Care is unique in the services they offer. They help care for these clients who need medical help but have been discharged from the hospital. The center allows their clients to get back on their feet at their own pace. Additionally, Respite provides services to help get their clients into permanent homes and apartments as well as finding employment. Their goal is for holistic well-being of those who stay with them, and they do an excellent job of focusing on the entire individual.
One of my fondest memories while at The Center for Respite Care was playing cornhole. Since Respite is relatively small, the clients interact quite often with each other and enjoy the company of new friends. New friends also means new competition for cornhole! We played every single visit; the clients would get so competitive, and it was contagious! It was also a time to talk about what they do in their free time, and associate a face, a personality, and a person with the far-too-often-large concept of homelessness. To me, homelessness is no longer anonymous, thanks to the Center, with Respite Care. Please keep their clients and those people who suffer from homelessness in your prayers this Christmas season!
If you have a heart for those who are seeking to get back on their feet, or the desire to sit with those who are healing physically, emotionally, and often times spiritually, contact Sarah Putman at firstname.lastname@example.org.