|photo courtesy of UGM|
Meet Heather. She is a 33-year-old mother and student at SCC. She grew up on the South Hill and graduated from Ferris High School. She seems like a typical mom who has decided to go back to school now that her son is getting older. But Heather has fought hard to get where she's at today.
Through her teens and twenties Heather experimented with alcohol, drugs and "whatever filled the void." Heather had a baby at nineteen and the relationship with her son's father was never healthy. Heather says she "bounced around" from place to place and had 30 plus jobs. At 25-years-old Heather became a Christian, but continued to struggle with sobriety and being in constant conflict with her son's father.
Then Heather heard about the Union Gospel Mission's Anna Ogden Hall and the Women's Recovery Program that is housed there.
"The minute I walked in the door, I felt like this is where I was going to be," Heather said.
The Women's Recovery Program at Anna Ogden Hall is all encompassing. The women live there for 12-16 months and receive both group and individual counseling, a range of classes from health to math skills to the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. Heather says the boundaries class was one of the classes that benefited her the most.
The women also complete internships at the UGM Thriftstore or UGM Motors. Anna Ogden Hall also has an academic counselor that helped Heather decide to return to school.
Heather graduated from the Women's Recovery Program in 2010, has successfully completed her first year at SCC and is back living on the South Hill. Most importantly to Heather, she is able to share custody of her son with his father in a healthy way and be the mother she has always wanted to be.
Like Heather, the Union Gospel Mission is also more than it appears to be on the surface. In addition to the Women's Recovery Program at Anna Ogden Hall the UGM also operates a men's shelter, a women's crisis shelter, a men's transitional apartment complex, a children's camp for low-income youth, a thrift store and UGM Motors. Lunch and dinner are also served daily at the mission.
Safeco Insurance Foundation recently awarded the Union Gospel Mission $10,000 to fight homelessness and hunger in Spokane. Click here to find out how you can involved with the UGM and help the homeless and others in need in Spokane. There are many ways you can help from donating food and household items to volunteering your time.