Letters: Great success stories from Jesus Center – Chico Enterprise-Record

There are many ways to describe what we do at the Jesus Center. “Nurture” came up recently.

Nurturing means to combine offering basic provisions, such as meals and shelter; and it means having tough conversations about long-term goals, independence and responsibility.

My staff’s nurturing amazes me every day. It appears when somebody is late for meals but really needs a hot plate, or during a heated argument that erupts in the dining room. I am grateful for a staff that knows how powerful each opportunity is for our participants. I am grateful for the calm, nurturing approach even when it means having difficult conversations, but also in times of celebrating good news such as 30-days of sobriety, or a job interview.

This month, we’re celebrating that four of our participants have moved on to permanent housing. Each of these participants started at the Jesus Center with a simple meal, then they moved into our emergency shelter, and then became part of our transitional housing program. They shared what they learned along their journey:

“Give everything 100% even if you really don’t want to. Change doesn’t happen within your comfort zone.” “My favorite part of my new home is being able to take a shower for as long as I want.”

We know the path to permanent housing isn’t easy. Once a person loses their housing, their dignity, a job and often key relationships, they struggle just to survive. Nurture and encouragement fuels them as they do the heavy lifting.

— Laura Cootsona, Chico


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