The holiday months engender so many thoughts, images, ideas and feelings that are different for each of us. From turkeys to menorahs, Santa Claus and bringing in the New Year; the holidays overflow with busy schedules, parties, family gatherings, candy, and tons of food! Typically, it’s a joyful time marked by gratitude, a desire to give, and those “gingerbread feelings”.
For many, however, the holidays bring heartache instead of joy; having no place to call home, no family or support, and a sense of failure often dominates the thinking and emotions of those who are homeless.
Such was not the case for five of our Samaritan Inn resident families. Their holiday season was like no other! These five resident families enjoyed the great blessing of a new home because of five tremendous and caring groups that accepted the challenge of becoming a Gateway Apartment “adopter”. In case you didn’t know, The Gateway apartments (20 units total) provide a transitional housing opportunity for those residents who meet the strict requirements and have proven to be on the path toward independence and self-sufficiency. Program graduates who satisfy the criteria may transition into a beautiful independent apartment.
“Gateway Apartment Adopters” take on these empty apartments and work their magic by transforming them into a home by providing all that is needed-from beds to toasters, food to couches. On a normal move-in day, the emotion and joy is palpable. Residents are often left speechless when they enter their new furnished home for the first time (a box of tissues is always on hand)!
This past holiday season, however, was beyond description. Between December 12th and January 9th joy spilled over with three singles and two families being placed at Gateway and having a new place to call home. Children shared their sense of pride for moms who worked so hard to get them there. One gentleman relayed his personal struggles and the hope that The Samaritan Inn had instilled in him and yet another, expressed his hopes and desires to have his wife and child rejoin him. That sense of unprecedented joy and peace permeated The Samaritan Inn this past holiday season (unlike any other previous year). As donations poured in and as adopters (both novice and seasoned veterans) provided new homes, the spirit of giving, and goodwill erased any sense of heartache or pain.
There simply are no words that could adequately express our gratitude to all who played a role in making the 2015 holidays “merry and bright”—especially for our five Gateway resident families. Thank you! You are the “BEST”!!!