Love is the Key by Dwight Jackson, Director of Shelter Services

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The holiday season is a particular reminder of our solidarity with those struggling with poverty and homelessness. The Eastside community has generously joined together in an effort to offer lifesaving overnight shelter during the coldest winter months, by opening the Eastside Winter Shelter (EWS). Through our shared effort and commitment, CFH is able to provide care to hundreds of men who are currently experiencing homelessness.

At the EWS, I see first-hand the impact our presence makes on those struggling to regain solid footing in their lives. Many of the men we serve have suffered great loss – the biggest loss they share is not the loss of material things, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual losses they have experienced. The biggest void in the lives of these men are hope, faith, and love.

Men come to CFH hopeless and hurting. This hopelessness has many root causes that include poverty, abuse, and neglect.  Most of the men, who walk through our doors, come to us having experienced considerable trauma; they come physically, mentally, and emotionally spent. Besides not having a safe place to rest and heal, many lack self-confidence, supportive connections, and the resources to overcome their condition. CFH offers hope to the hopeless, just by showing that we care as a collective community. That care lifts spirits and helps a man to believe that is he still has worth and ability.

Men come to CFH having lost faith – faith in themselves, in possibility, in a future; faith has waned with each traumatic blow they have suffered.  Faith is reignited as men see positive change in their lives. This can be as simple as having a place to go when it’s cold outside. It also happens as progress is made in addressing issues that have brought them to homelessness. Through our collective compassion and support, men are able to believe in something greater for their lives even when it has not fully materialized yet.  Their faith begins to increase, serving them well when future difficulties arise.

Love is the key. Love heals. Love gives these men a fighting chance. Love helps them find worth in themselves. Love is supportive and encouraging. Love is transformative. We are blessed to witness transformations big and small each day because of love. It’s simple, yet powerful.

I thank you for offering these men hope, faith, and love. These provide the basis for lasting change in their lives.

Keep on, keeping on!

Dwight