One of the most meaningful moments in the GRACE calendar is the welcome a new Transitional Client gets when she first enters her new apartment. Ordinarily, the small efficiency is packed shoulder-to-shoulder with well-wishers.
Earlier this week, GRACE welcomed Ms. C and her baby boy into her new home.[NOTE: We will refer to the alias “Ms. C” in this article to represent our client. As with all clients, GRACE strives to protect the security of those we serve by shielding their identities in public settings and publications.]
This time, in order to protect Ms. C, her son, and the throng of GRACE staff and volunteers who formed the welcoming committee, a virtual home blessing was performed.
GRACE Transitional Housing Manager Brittany Flewellan was on-site at the GRACE apartment and welcomed Ms. C. Brittany then introduced the dozens of Zoom attendees beaming from the laptop screen.
Representatives from White’s Chapel United Methodist Church were in attendance. Members of the congregation volunteer their time and expertise to fully renovate, floor-to-ceiling, each apartment as one family moves on and another comes in.
Likewise, members of the Good Shepherd Catholic Community joined to express their support and best wishes. Grapevine Police Chief Mike Hamlin welcomed Ms. C and promised his assistance and protection. Chief Hamlin is a member of the GRACE Board of Directors.
Several other GRACE Board Members voiced their encouragement to Ms. C, and pledged to continue their work to ensure she has all of the materials and counseling needed to succeed in the program.
GRACE Chief Executive Officer Shonda Schaefer gave the official welcome on behalf of all on the Zoom call, and all others who are a part of the GRACE mission.
“The next two years will change your life,” said Shonda. The two-year Transitional Housing program transforms families, guides clients onto the right path, and teaches the lifeskills needed to become fully self-sufficient.
“It is not easy,” she said. “But Brittany, Ravan (Ravan Polk-Anderson, Transitional Housing Case Manager), and all of us will be here to help in every way we can to make sure you succeed.”
The Rev. Sterling Smith, White’s Chapel pastor for evangelism, missions, and involvement, offered a prayer for Ms. C, and for all those struggling to make better lives for themselves and their families.
With both gratitude and hope, Ms. C thanked all for their prayers and words of supports. She told of the situation that forced her into homelessness, and the joy she experienced when she learned GRACE could help.
She spoke strongly of her will to succeed in the Transitional Housing program for herself and her own dignity, and also for her son and the young man she hoped he would be.
Even though the guests were not attending in person, as with all GRACE Home Blessings, tears of joy met smiles of optimism. Ms. C left no doubt that her courage would help guide her through.
Our thanks to the kind folks from White’s Chapel, Good Shepherd, and all who come together to serve those who have nowhere else to turn.
The GRACE Transitional Housing program is truly where the GRACE continuum of care—food, shelter, clothing, and medical services—meet to change lives for the better.
For more information about the GRACE Transitional Housing program, call Brittany at 817-305-4641.