The Bend year-round shelter now serves as the Lighthouse Navigation Center, a comprehensive approach to helping individuals regain their footing and move beyond homelessness. With this new addition in June of this year, Shepherd’s House Ministries entered new territory by offering what is known as the continuum of care. Care of this nature allows us to start on the fringes of homeless camps with Project SHARE, help people migrate to The Lighthouse Navigation shelter, and then be guided to programs that offer the chance for much greater stabilization, programs like our Men’s Center where true life-transformation can happen.
This past week we welcomed six unique individuals into our Men’s Center addiction recovery program. Each of these men started homeless on the streets. Then, they entered the Lighthouse Navigation Center Program through a relational connection with Shepherd’s House staff. As the healing process began to emerge and interest was piqued, they were offered the opportunity to take the next step towards a healthy, sober, and connected life. These six individuals will now walk through a 6-phased program at the Men’s Center that will lead them down a path of mental and physical healthiness, spiritual awakening, and work and vocational readiness.
These moments we celebrate the most because they offer a glimpse into how a comprehensive approach is intended to work. Some of these individuals, after graduation, will move into one of our sober extended-living communities, where they will start reintegrating into society through work, family connection, and community involvement. This path is a full view of the continuum of care.
Along the Continuum
Working with fragile hopeful individuals deciding change. -by Stephen Piercy Men’s Center Health & Wellness Coordinator
How we engage with these men is not for the faint of heart. The men coming straight off the street, we hear about these guys’ past hardships and struggles, things that happened to them, and things they’ve done. Having been one of these individuals myself, I can understand having the urgency to fight for life but having no clue how to begin to navigate a new life. The key for me was having people who genuinely cared and loved me, even on my worst day, regardless of my past. It was only then that I began to feel safe enough to work through my deep-rooted issues, such as personal accountability, which opened the experience and the opportunity to live life with brand new eyes.
Now on staff at Shepherd’s House, I understand what rock bottom looks like and how fragile and defensive one can be entering into a recovery program. I welcome each new individual the same way a Shepherd’s House staff member welcomed me. With Grace. Building a relationship based on vulnerability, transparency, and honesty is foundationally important for anyone to change. 1-3 months into our program, all the chemicals left their bodies, they’ve built solid relationships, and the final defensive layer peels back. At that moment, they start to reveal their true self, and the path of hope and life transformation begins.
Your support, either by volunteering, being a community advocate, or your financial giving, is a vital factor in our ability to offer a continuum of care and to see life transformation to those in need. As we aim to raise $365,000 to continue this work in 2023, we want to thank you for your support and trust in us as an organization.