Giving Heart and Severe Weather Shelter Network share a unique partnership. Out of all the community service providers that Severe Weather Shelter Network works with, Giving Heart is the one that bears the image of Christ as we do.
We share a passion and deep value around entering into relationship with those we encounter. We also share our birthday – the original vision for our ministries was to be two sides of the same coin. We continue to carry the same vision. We both uphold a value around empowerment versus enablement. We want to help people grow up into the person God designed them to be in a society that so often tells them who to be.
The reality is that most homeless individuals in our communities are invisible to a buzzing privileged world around them. Our partnership with Giving Heart is rooted in a deep conviction around relationship because we recognize that without that component, restoration is impossible. The work we do is not just about the services we provide – the services are only the vehicle that brings them into the refuge we provide. The core of our shared vision and commitment to the homeless is centered around relationship so that the first step toward restoration is achieved: hope. And it starts with the heart.
What does this look like? It looks like offering and protecting dignity when too often our guests have been reduced to worthless. It looks like shattering the stereotypes and assumptions about the homeless community that too often get in the way of what God is doing, and frankly, aren’t true. It looks like restoring identity; recognizing each person’s worth and value, and being a tangible response team to an abandoned demographic. We recognize the uniqueness of each individual and the value that they bring to community. We are in the business of tearing down walls, leveling ground, and reflecting Christ in the ways in which we interact with the homeless who trust us to care for them.
And, by the way, we are learning just as much from them as they are learning from us. We are grateful for our partnership with Giving Heart and continue to stand hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, living out faith on mission.