While most people know POM provides food, financial assistance and case management to those in need, there is a lesser-known “service” we provide; it’s called Hope. Some people don’t have the capacity or ability to make big changes in their lives. Sometimes, they simply need someone to greet them with a warm smile, listen to their achievements and challenges, or give a hug when they are feeling low.
“Carter” is a middle-aged man living alone in our community. He gets by on his own for the most part, but has some developmental challenges that make a stable life difficult. He visits POM regularly, usually to say “hello” and tell us how he is doing. Each time he brings a giant smile with him and we are glad to see he is still doing okay. Our volunteers know him well, and know when to ask if he needs anything. There is an occasional request for a bus pass or propane refill during the winter, but mostly Carter simply comes in because he feels welcome and safe. Carter will never hold a high paying job, he will never be able to own his own home or retire with a 401K; but, Carter will always have hope that tomorrow will be another day that someone in the community cares about him through POM.
“Samuel” was an older gentleman who lived with his wife in Enumclaw for many years. Their children have moved away and they have no other family close-by. They originally visited POM for help with keeping their home as property taxes were beginning to overrun their income. Eventually, the time came when Samuel’s wife needed to move to a full time care facility. POM’s staff helped Samuel find a place where she would be well cared for and Samuel could visit. However, Samuel was having a difficult time transitioning to living alone. He began to visit POM with photos and stories of his family scattered around the country. Samuel never stayed for long, but simply needed a place where he felt that he belonged, a place where hope lived.
“Betty” was one of our Winter Shelter guests last year. She was quiet and thoughtful. She was always grateful for a warm bed and hot meal. Betty began to come by POM during the daytime to sit for a moment and share her story with the volunteers. She was a little shy at first, but each time she was greeted with a smile as someone took the time to make a connection. Slowly, Betty shared her past, her path to homelessness, and the difficulties she had in coping with daily life. It wasn’t long before the volunteers and staff had developed a trusting relationship with Betty. Her confidence had increased and she was ready to trust us. Betty was ready to hope again, hope that life could get better! She finally met with our case managers who were able to help her manage her small income and find her a safe place to live.
Hope is a powerful thing. It gives us momentum, energy and inspiration to move forward. Sometimes just a spark of hope is all it takes. POM is grateful for the hope that you, our community, provide to us to keep compassionately serving our neighbors in need.