September 2021 Newsletter

How Does the Eugene Mission Serve?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
[Galatians 5:22-23]

We serve:

In love. We seek to share the love of Jesus Christ with lost and hurting neighbors.

In joy. We recognize the privilege it is to serve and to be in relationship with guests making the courageous decision to move forward in their lives.

In peace. We love our neighbors and community and, as far as it depends on us, we live at peace with others who do not hold our faith and service convictions.

In forbearance. We do not label, judge or limit our guests by their history, characteristics or circumstances. We welcome guests where they are, and we provide the healthy, relational and supportive environment needed for recovery to rejoin healthy community.

In kindness. We recognize the hurts of trauma and betrayal in our guests’ lives, and we come alongside them with compassion.

In goodness. We pray that goodness, and the other fruit of the Spirit, will be evident in our lives and service. We hope to be winsome witnesses of a life of Hope and Joy. We hope our words and service will point our guests to Jesus Christ and prompt our guests to recognize their God-given gifts and purpose.

With self-control. We serve with boundaries and with patience to those coming from an often chaotic and dark environment. We humbly recognize that we cannot, in our own flesh, cause our guests to be restored. The beautiful thing is, the Eugene Mission belongs to a Mighty God who is infinitely capable of restoring our guests. We delight in the blessing it is to be part of this process.

May each of us in the Mission Family bear much fruit!

Blessings

Sheryl Balthrop
Executive Director

A Place to Heal

Eugene Mission Dish Pit

The “dish pit” in the Eugene Mission kitchen is a busy place. Contrary to assumptions, the food at the Mission is excellent and today’s pineapple chicken stir fry, served over basmati rice did not disappoint. After serving 200+, someone must wash all those pans, cooking utensils, plates, bowls, spoons, forks, cups and trays. It’s a Eugene Mission lifeskill and Bill Webb is a dish pit rockstar.

Bill smiles and shares, “I enjoy the controlled environment I am not an outgoing person.”

Bill had been working as an in-home caregiver for a man who was terminally ill and eventually died.

“I was raw, I wanted to hide.”

That was four years ago, and Bill hid well.

“The Mission used to be a revolving door,” says Bill. “When things changed last year, I knew I needed a safe space to be. I had no income, and I had a tendency to drink.”

In 2020, during the height of the COVID pandemic, the Eugene Mission launched the “Rescue + Revitalize + Restore” (R3) program for all its guests who were observing pandemic precautions. When pandemic precautions put an end to the Mission’s revolving door approach, R3 provided a strategic opportunity to deliver relational programming that addressed each individual’s unique circumstances.

Good news from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust helped fund the program R3 (see section below).

“I was raised by a single mom,” shares Bill. “Tanya was assigned as my navigator, and I related really well to her.”

Tanya helped Bill address several of his barriers, which included lack of income, valid identification and lack of technology skills to navigate a world that has gone digital.

“Tanya helped me put together a resume and look for a job using a website called ‘Indeed’,” says Bill.

Bill had retail experience working at Fred Meyer but felt he wasn’t ready for a job requiring extensive social interactions. Caregiving, another skill of Bill’s, was wrought with painful memories.

“What about dishwashing?” suggested Tanya, noting that Bill “ran the big soapy Hobart like a rockstar.”

With a bus pass in hand, and a restaurant industry that was recovering from closures and pandemic pauses, Bill was quickly offered a full-time job as a dishwasher at Northfork Grill.

“Like I said, I like the controlled environment and cycle of dishwashing,” says Bill. “This is a good fit for me and I’m starting to come out of my shell bit by bit.”

Bill notes that his experience in the R3 program, which includes vocational life skills, set him up with the experience and confidence to attain employment.

“I didn’t want to hide any longer, but I felt rusty,” says Bill. “I didn’t know where to start. Tanya and the staff showed support and an interest in me, including knowing my name!”

Saving and budgeting money is part of navigating the R3 Program.

“My goal is to put sixty percent of every paycheck into savings. It took a few pay periods to get my identification set up and so I am currently saving one-hundred percent,” shares Bill, laughing. “I’d like to find my own place when I have enough money saved.”

Bill credits his navigator Tanya Miner and the Eugene Mission with providing a stable and safe place to heal, including supporting him in his sobriety.

“We coached him, but he had it within himself,” shares Tanya. “I’m just so proud of him. He is really coming out of his shell, and this is such a big deal. He’s so worth it.”

R3 Program

R3 is the transformational residential program for all guests of the Eugene Mission who are not in the Life Change Program. The moniker stands for “Rescue + Revitalize + Restore.” The program is focused on getting “wheels turning” in a direction to overcome homelessness and a need for shelter services long term. Recovery support is included in R3 for those who are working to overcome addiction. The focus and duration of R3 will look different for each guest with a focus on accountability and addressing housing barriers. You can read more at eugenemission.org.

I love caring for our guests with beautiful food and teaching skills in the kitchen. I get to work everyday with the Life Change men, offering encouragement as we work shoulder to shoulder to create meals for the entire campus.

— Trent Lee, Culinary Arts Manager [8 years]

Learning Center

Luiggi in the Family RoomThe Eugene Mission is in the process of renovating one of its buildings to create a new Learning Center to accommodate our growing revitalization program that includes classes facilitated by Mission staff and high-impact volunteers. Guests of the Mission who are enrolled in the R3 Program attend classes each week. The curriculum includes a variety of topics and formats that accommodate interests, mobility, mental health and work schedules.

The Learning Center includes a large central classroom space, which will also serve as a meeting space for the broader community. The room is almost complete and has sliding panels to create three smaller meeting spaces for classes that are occurring simultaneously. One scenario would be a financial literacy class for guests with a computer lab hosting Life Change Program participants on the other side of the wall.R3 Yoga Class

The computer lab consists of 12 new laptops and “computers on wheels” (C.O.W.) stations so that each space has adaptability. Computer skills are a huge need in our guest population and the C.O.W. format allows for computers to be rolled out for various classes and securely stored away when it is time for bible study, a physical fitness workshop, social hour, financial literacy class or recovery support group.

The Learning Center building also has a dedicated wing for a therapeutic day-use space for guests with children who are residing at the Eugene Mission, and for guests who have lost custody of their children but have supervised visitation. Called “The Family Room,” the space is an indoor and outdoor area that is trauma-informed and focused on strengthening parenting skills and reducing the trauma of homelessness for vulnerable families.

The final component of the Learning Center is a culinary training kitchen. There is a small kitchen in the Learning Center building that will be transformed into a residential home-economics-style classroom kitchen. This kitchen will be used to teach guests the cooking skills they’ll need for self-sufficient living. Many Mission guests have never learned to cook food from scratch.

Eugene Mission staff will also work with guests to learn skills in hospitality, including setting up the room, preparing a banquet or meal and delivering delicious food on time as part of a team effort. Many guests lack such skills and when organizations meet at the Mission, there is an opportunity to learn and connect. As the building is serviceable, we have already had the privilege of hosting Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis Clubs for weekly and monthly lunch meetings.

Eugene Delta Rotary Club

The dedicated training kitchen also means that guests who are utilizing the therapeutic family space will have the opportunity to prepare snacks and meals with and for their children. This encourages valuable life skills supporting nutrition education and the bonding that occurs when meals are prepared together as a family.

We have a donor in the Mission Family who has provided a matching challenge gift to transform the residential kitchen into a six-station training kitchen complete with a garden space. This finishing gift is a dollar-to-dollar match up to $100,000. If you are interested in touring this exciting project, please contact Beth at beths@eugenemission.org.

R3 Rescue + Revitalize + Restore


Rescue:
A 14-day “low-barrier” continuous stay to rest, stabilize and sober up.

Revitalize: Meet guests where they are, and support them with resources, classes, activities, and life skills mentoring.

Restore:  Support self-sufficiency, sobriety, income and housing with mentors, tenancy supports, and alumnae programs.

Solar Panels for the New Learning Center: Eugene Mission 2021 EWEB Green Power Grant Award

New Learning Center

The Eugene Mission is honored to have been chosen for an EWEB GreenPower Grant to power the new Learning Center on our campus! The Eugene Mission Learning Center will serve as the central hub for classes and activities and will benefit guests of the Eugene Mission and the broader community. The Center will have a culinary training kitchen, meeting and classroom spaces, a computer lab, and a therapeutic day use area for our growing population of homeless families. Our goal is to create a Center that uses sustainable energy sources, a robust recycling program and reduces waste through efficient stewardship of resources.

Prayer Requests

Please pray for our guests, staff and volunteers who are working together in our R3 and Life Change Programs. We pray for wisdom and discernment in all of our efforts together.

Ways To Give

  • Financial support for the Eugene Mission as we work with our guests to address barriers and challenges.
  • Cases of soda for our Labor Day BBQ
  • Condiment packets: mustard, mayo, ketchup, soy sauce, and salsa
  • Kitchen-Aid mixers for our Culinary School (6 stations)
  • Diapers size 4-6
  • Rubber spatulas, measuring cups, and spoons
  • Ground black pepper
  • Please remember the Eugene Mission in your estate planning, will, or instrument. FEIN# 93-0563797

Contact: beths@eugenemission.org

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling