Dear SOS Staff & Volunteers,
“I feel the need to personally thank you all for the help that each of you have freely given over the past month. The Holidays are always a busy time for everyone, and the help that each of you gives is invaluable. Without your help and hard work a shelter such as this one would not be possible. I can only speak for myself, but I’m sure that most if not all residents here would agree, just the fact that we have a hot dinner and a warm, dry place to sleep at the end of the day is one of, if not the,greatest gifts we have received all yea wanted to let you know that your hard work is recognized, and not just taken as a handout. I know that, both as a group and as Individuals, we don’t make it easy. And I know the night staff like their sleep too. We are all blessed by your kindness and friendship. This shelter has given me the motivation to plan and take charge in bettering my life. It’s amazing how much I can do when I don’t have to stress over where I’m going to sleep tonight, and worry over whether my belongings and my home itself will be sage from theft, destruction or discovery by law enforcement if I leave during the day. You all have given me direction and helped me to obtain the tools I needed to start getting my life back on track. Each and every one of you are amazing. Your love, your spirit, and your consideration are all what makes the Sonrise Church Shelter at Orenco Station possible. The brochure that the cop gave me that night had a quote that I still remember, “out of the cold and into our hearts”. That quote hits it right on the head for how you all make me feel when I am here, so I would like to end with another quote that is simple yet says it all, “I can say no more than thank you, thank you, thank you” – W. Shakespeare. I wont ever forget the impact you all have made on my life, with love and gratitude”.
Sarah woke up on December 10, 2009 after spending several weeks living in her car. The temperature outside was 10 degrees. She had eight blankets and her dog to try and keep her warm, but still was so cold she could hardly move. Reflecting on how she ended up in a situation she thought would never happen to her; she recalled the break-up of an abusive relationship and soon after the sudden loss of her job. These events caused Sarah to slip into a debilitating depression. Unable to cope with life anymore she soon ran out of money and lost the apartment she was living in.
That day, using what little gas she had left, she made
her way to the Public Library to spend the day in a warm place. While there she
saw information about the shelter. With no other options available to her she
showed up at SOS that evening and was overwhelmed by the caring people that
provided her with clean clothes, a shower, a warm meal, and even a gift card
for gas for her car. Sarah spent every night for the rest of the winter at SOS
and gradually worked herself out her depression and became a vital part of the
shelter operation, counseling other guests as only one that has experienced
homelessness can. On March 1st she was offered a room to stay in
with a local pastor and his family. Last summer Sarah landed a new job and is
saving her money to get a place of her own.
"To my 'Sonrise family': Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for all the love and support I have received from each and every one of you since that cold December day when I turned up on you doorstep. I came looking for a warm place to sleep and found God instead! And for that I am eternally thankful."