Mission Youth House, also known as MY House, in Mission, BC, is a collaborative initiative to provide a place for youth to eat, shower, do laundry, access medical care and other services and receive help from caring adults. In order to grow the ministry and move more into the spiritual transformational work within the ministry, they knew they needed some help.
The staff at MY House knew the time had come to develop a bible study/“Alpha”-style group designed in such a way to relate to youth dealing with substance abuse and/or homelessness. Groundwork for this program had been established through the last 4 years at MY House. The staff had observed and walked alongside dozens of youth who had been suffering. They consulted with professionals as well as participated in substance abuse programming.
The result of this planning was a new program called “Recovery Life”. This group would be for those thinking about recovery or remaining in recovery. MY House is hoping to launch “Recovery Life” as soon as public health guidelines allow it.
Staff have also been working on a prayer initiative. A local volunteer has been helping greatly by recruiting partners to receive real-time prayer requests as the staff work with youth in crisis.
This and other initiatives were part of the NewGround application. The funding was critical as significant staff time is diverted towards securing funds so without the grant, staff time that would be spending time developing and implementing the proposed activities would have to devote their time towards fundraising activities to ensure these projects could get up and running.
So how has NewGround helped Mission Hills Community Church love its community?
Mission Hills Community CRC has been a key partner in providing counseling to staff, prayer support, financial donations and volunteer support.
“Mission Hills has had a high level of involvement with MY House over the last few years,” Calvin Williams, Director of MY House, shared. “Before Covid, members of the church would come clean the building on occasion and cook freezer meals for the youth. The pastor there, Grant, would also come weekly or bi-weekly and do some spiritual care and be a sounding board for our staff.”
The church was also geared up to be a part of “Regular Life” outings with MY House youth. For example, church members would go on fishing trips, attend concerts or sports games, etc. with youth from MY House. Due to the pandemic, this ministry has been put on hold.
“I am alive because of your love. Not only alive, but taking steps toward truly living. …I will never stop trying to better myself and will always battle with some of my demons, but I know that you guys are always there to back me up or pick me up and dust me off if I need it.”-Written in a thank-you card by one of the youth helped by MY House
What would happen if MY House didn’t receive this grant and it closed its doors tomorrow?
“I was giving a tour to a social worker who was exploring the MY House collaborative,” Williams recalled. “As we went through each room of MY House, she was amazed that there was such a wide range of free resources, donated primarily by local churches and community members, available to youth without any prerequisites or qualifications. Any youth could have anything, no questions asked. She was amazed that all this was available at one place – for free – to any who need it.”
It was no surprise, then, that the very next day this same social worker brought one of the youth she oversees to MY House. This girl was running out of food and other supplies and MY House was able to help her. “She received so many nice things that she needed that she exclaimed, ‘I feel so spoiled!’” Williams shared.
Another teen wrote this in a thank-you card a couple years back:
“To all the staff, students, youth and everyone and anyone who ever put their time and love into MY House, I am alive because you care so much. I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am to everyone. I am alive because of your love. Not only alive, but taking steps toward truly living. It will most likely be quite some time before I see MY House and the wonderful people that make it so, but when I come back, I will be stronger, happier. I will never stop trying to better myself and will always battle with some of my demons, but I know that you guys are always there to back me up or pick me up and dust me off if I need it. I hope to put in as much love as I have received at MY House in the future.
In a time of so much pain and anger for me, you were the one solid, unwavering beacon of love; somewhere I never once questioned my safety.
For that, I love all of you and will be forever grateful. I love you!”
This is where your money goes when you support NewGround.
Word continues to spread as residents and city organizations continue to contact them for help – help they would have been unable to provide without a NewGround partnership.
Your generosity helps churches like Mission Hills love their community in tangible, practical and sustainable ways!
Will you support us this year so we can help even MORE churches love their community?
There are several ways to give to the 2021 NewGround Campaign:
- Through your Church – NewGround Sunday is May 2nd this year, but some churches may hold the offering before or after that. Check with your deacons or church office to find out when the scheduled offering is.
- Donate Directly Online – You can also donate online through our Canada Helps donation page. You can choose a one-time donation OR become a monthly partner!
- Through the Bridge App – If your church uses the CRC Bridge App, you can ask your deacons or treasurer to add Diaconal Ministries Canada as one of your giving causes! (Causes have to be activated for them to show up as an option in the giving portal.)
- Mail Your Donation In – You can also mail your cheques directly to Diaconal Ministries Canada at: 3475 Mainway Drive, PO Box 5070, STN LCD 1, Burlington, Ontario L7R 3Y8.
[Top Featured Image by Лечение наркомании from Pixabay]