What is it really like to volunteer at an ABCCM Transitional Housing facility? Well, the first thing to keep in mind is that it is not a homeless shelter. The folks at our facilities are not asked to leave during the day after spending the night with us. They live with us until they are able to successfully transition into their own housing. ABCCM has 2 Transitional Housing facilities: Steadfast House, for women and children, and the Veterans Restoration Quarters, for male veterans. Volunteers are a vital part of transforming someone’s life – helping someone move from homelessness to self-sufficiency. Volunteers are the key ingredient in helping a person not merely survive, but thrive once they are back on their feet.
Whether teaching a life-skills class, organizing and maintaining our Points Rooms, being a member of a Cook Team, or offering administrative assistance, each volunteer provides a crucial piece of transformational impact on our residents’ lives in areas such as stability, safety, and community engagement. And though volunteers selflessly offer their time and efforts to help change someone else’s life, oftentimes it is the life of the volunteers which are changed.
Consider what the leader of one of the Cook Teams at the Veterans Restoration Quarters (VRQ) says about his experience:
Of all of the wonderful things I have seen in my seven years of rewarding service at the VRQ, I would have to say that it is my fellow volunteers that move me the most. I find myself lucky and proud to serve with people who are driven to take care of the men at the VRQ. I watch these dedicated people drive long distance to the VRQ, work diligently when in the kitchen, give of their money to provide special meals, and do all of this with a pride and pleasure I find inspiring. Not only that, but they do it three times a month, every month without complaint or expectation of their own. Volunteering at the VRQ has made me appreciate, respect, and enjoy my fellow cook team members in a way I would have never imagined. I would recommend being a volunteer at the VRQ as it’s rewarding in many ways, some of which you might never expect.
At both of our transitional housing sites, volunteers do more than serve; they help build intentional missional communities. Volunteers…like Ginger and Frank, who volunteer at Steadfast House as mentors in our Steadfast Partners program. As part of one of our member churches, they engage their faith as they regularly meet with one or more of the children who live at Steadfast House. They offer Christ’s love as supportive, caring, encouraging, patient, safe, and consistent partners with the moms and kids each week. Ginger and Frank have grandchildren who are not geographically close to them at the moment, so they pour their hearts into the children at Steadfast House as their “stand-in grandparents.” Their compassionate and understanding approach builds trusting bonds that will stay with the children – both now, and long after they move into stable housing.
Jesus calls us to serve those who are hungry, thirsty, sick, in need of clothes, and in prison. At ABCCM, we provide opportunities to serve one another in the name of Christ. And, as you volunteer, don’t be surprised if the life transformed…is yours!