Do you ever wish that you could have a conversation with someone who is able to inspire you and make you laugh in the same sentence? If you would like to experience this, then you’ll want to meet Brian.
Brian came to our shelter last month. Brian has one of the silliest personalities of any resident we’ve ever had, but he’s also a hard worker who is dedicated to accomplishing his goals. He is quick to help out around the shelter when we need an extra hand, and is always appreciative to our volunteers. He introduces himself to every volunteer we have and thanks them for their service and help.
Brian says the volunteers that he’s encountered while living at HCHS have been the most caring people he has ever met. “They challenge me in my faith,” he says while listing qualities he loves about our volunteers. Some of his favorite volunteers include Vern Klingenberg who is a former member of the HCHS board, and Richard Diehl, who many know as Cotton or Dickie.
Brian enjoys Vern’s caring personality and the great conversations he has with Vern. He recalls a time when Vern took him to work one morning and told him great stories about his time on the farm. Cotton is a musician and Brian enjoys listening to him sing and play music when he volunteers. Brian is encouraged by Cotton and Vern’s heart for the homeless. The non-judgmental attitude that they display while helping is something that Brian has learned from and will always treasure.
Brian’s outlook on life has changed since moving into HCHS. He is optimistic about the future when he sees children coming with their parents to volunteer. One young boy, Sam, really clicked with Brian as they talked about things they had in common. “It’s good to see young kids learning that there are people living in the shelter. They need to see that the world isn’t perfect, and learn responsibility and how to care for others.” We agree – we love to see parents teaching their kids about how important volunteer work is. As Brian would say, a kid who is willing to come and help at the shelter is “awesome sauce.”
Hearing Brian say silly things and seeing him smile after every joke makes it hard to believe the past he leaves behind. Brian is a recovering addict who is currently over 170 days clean. He admits his choices have played a large part in bringing him to the shelter. “My addiction brought me here,” he said, “but my faith is bringing me out.”
Being at the shelter has changed Brian’s life. He has met many wonderful people, including his peer residents. Brian was hired by a local company and works in shipping. Attending Celebrate Recovery, NA meetings, a great church has become a priority for Brian. He is excited about the future and plans to implement his faith into his recovery process so that he can stay clean. Brian is thankful to everyone who has supported him and to all of the volunteers who take time out of their busy lives to come and hang out at the shelter. Having people around who care for him has made a wonderful difference in his life.
It is only because of our supporters that we are able to meet people like Brian. It is no joke that Brian brightens all of our days with his jokes and delightful spirit. We are excited to see Brian grow in the Lord with our volunteers by his side!
Trenton came to the shelter a broken and hurting man. He had been living with his wife and children and even had a promising career at a local factory. After severe marital issues he began a downward spiral into drugs and hopping from couch to couch. As hard as he tried he could not escape the drug and alcohol culture that he seemed to find in every new home. Feeling trapped, Trenton, succumbed to the desires of his addiction and soon found himself homeless and estranged from the family that he once was so close to.
In Trenton's first stay at the shelter his addiction continued to have a great hold on his life. After random drug screening, Trenton tested positive for drugs and admitted to using drugs while staying at the shelter. He found a local friend to stay with and after his suspension from the shelter was completed, he reapplied to enter the shelter. With a glowing letter of re-admittance and a new hope for a life of sobriety in his heart he was accepted back into the shelter.
Trenton hit the ground running and began looking for employment as soon as he returned. Within a short amount of time he had three jobs and was already working on restoring his relationship with his children and his wife. After many conversation and prayer with staff, Trenton was walking a path of hope with a new found joy as he celebrated each and every day as another step towards his recovery.
After two months, Trenton, was finding stability in his life. He moved into the local Oxford House and worked even harder on his relationship with his wife so one day they may live together again and raise their children with the love of God surrounding them.
Email from a former resident:
Hello, my name is Danielle. I used to live at the shelter last year around the end of October is when me and my husband came to stay because he was having seizures and other medical problems. Seeing how we could not hitch a ride out of Kansas and found ourselves stranded and getting sicker and sicker as the season turned very cold. I just wanted to thank you all for the help that you provided us and let you know that I am doing well.
We were blessed with a healthy baby boy on July 17, 2011 but CPS came and took him away because of our homeless situation. Currently, I am living in CA with my parents and my husband is in jail. I guess I just made him a better person by just being with him because after making all the progress of not smoking cigarettes and quitting smoking pot he turned to drinking. Depression doesn't mix well with it not one bit. I pray for him nightly that he will rise up again and get himself some help. I am ever so grateful for the power of God and his everlasting love and that we have his Son who gave his life freely to atone for our sins. I praise the lord and know that he is there to help and guide me into doing the things I need to do in order to make my family whole!
Thank you once again for all the help you had provided me and my family. My the Lord bless you many times!
Your sister in faith,