Justin, the Drop-In Center Ministries Manager, reflects on the change: “Once the Drop-In Center (DIC) opened up, these men and women finally had their own space. The DIC is a place where they want to be.” There are a few dedicated people who regularly help with cleaning – making the Drop-In Center “sparkle.” Guests are taking ownership and, when they see a need, oftentimes they’ll offer to help, even going to the extent of backing up staff in an emergency.
Coming to the DIC is often the first step people will take in their long road to recovery. It’s a community with an interesting mix of people. “It’s really a beautiful, sacred chaos,” Justin says of the atmosphere. “When I look around and see the number of people we can care for now, I think it’s such a miracle. We’ve got people dealing with addiction, domestic violence, mental illness, trauma, and relational and spiritual poverty.” Many parts are working together to help people at the DIC, like caring volunteers, optional chapel services and Bible studies, and resource referrals.
“When I look around and see the number of people we can care for now, I think it’s such a miracle. We’ve got people dealing with addiction, domestic violence, mental illness, trauma, and relational and spiritual poverty.”
Many local organizations use space at the DIC as an outreach to the homeless community. We’re thankful for each one (please see website for full list). Many of them come on a weekly basis. These organizations are making their services more accessible for this population of people.
Justin continues, “I would love to see more volunteers at the Drop-In Center. The more people we have, the more relationship building can happen. Our staff to guest ratio is 1 to 100 at times.” And you don’t need a background in recovery to be able to help. He says, “Recovery is more than just not using a drug; what makes recovery successful for people is learning how to do life sober. How do you go through negative life events without numbing yourself? That’s how even volunteers without a drug history can be used by God.”
“Whatcom County is a community that really cares and honors Jesus’ words about caring for the poor,” Justin concludes with appreciation.
Thank you for your generosity! You’re giving men and women who are on the fringe a community, a safe place to stay where they are accepted and cared for.