By Sakinah Mujahid | Since Families Moving Forward began its journey in Scott and Carver counties in 2014, we have encountered lots of wonderful volunteers helping us to end homelessness one family at a time.
The families coming through the program speak about different volunteers that make an impression on them, where the hospitality is something they couldn't imagine. As the associate program manager, all I can do is smile to hear when this happens.
As our time began to wind down at our temporary space, we needed to find a permanent space to call home for the program center. Those same volunteers providing hospitality were also searching on our behalf. So it was no surprise that one of our congregations stepped up to the challenge of providing a permanent home, much as Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church did when they initially offered to provide temporary space.
The “no surprise” was because Rick and Mary Holtmeier of Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church were always spoken of by our families as two of our most hospitable host coordinators. So it is a good feeling to know our new home will be at Shepherd of the Hill with Rick and Mary. (Mary, pictured above, holds Sakinah's youngest child.)
Since the decision has been made, I can’t believe how helpful the Holtmeiers have been to make this a smooth transition for us. The whole move has been bittersweet for me. Having more space for the families is a plus, but leaving the connections at SOLLC and working with the YMCA will be hard to replace. However, with the hospitality the families speak of from the Holtmeier and SOTH I know we will be well cared for – in fact, I have experienced it first-hand when they offered office furniture for the space. They made me and my children feel welcome, and just as they extend themselves to make families feel at home, they’ve once more gone above and beyond their host coordinator role to create a welcoming home for our program.