August Newsletter

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Hearts for Homeless Newsletter

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The Heart-To-Heart
A Hearts for Homeless newsletter -August 2015

100 S. Fraser St. State College, PA. 16801 | #1(814)-325-9471 | H4HStateCollege.org
We’veseen
seena alotlotofofnumbers
numbersthrown
thrownaround
aroundinthe
when
it comes
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portraying
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State
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Naturally, it
We’ve
theHuman
world ofServices
Humansphere
Services
when
it comes
countingto
the
number community
of Homelessinand
those
in need.
would be in a non-profit’s best interest to count every phone call, every letter, and everytime we’ve informed someone (when the outcome may or may not result
in improving someones well-being), a “success” as many non-profits do. But we owe the demograph we serve an honest portrayal and so, here is an no-nonsense
depiction of our numbers. We will srtive to continually serve in new ways and grow our program to meet the needs
of our community’s homeless. Help us make that a reality. *Hearts for Homeless assumes the actual homeless
count in Centre County to be much, much larger. Our numbers depict our organizations reach, omits the many
working with other organizations, and doesn’t account for the many who live on the fringe, or out of our reach.

Updates

102
17

Defeated
Homelessness

Refuse
Help

20
19
15

Are transient/
Unaccounted

Use our Drop-In
Center exclusively

Are In H4H
Apartments

In Our Community

Giving back brings people together, fosters growth, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. On the surface,
it can help take the problems off our minds, and enable us to see the bigger picture. That’s why
Hearts for Homeless clients and staff participate in events like Saturday of Service where we
operated a free Car Wash, and helped Zerby Gap rake and mulch their
ropes course -a boys home in Spring Mills, PA. We
also have a community garden nestled
ourside of Downtown where interested
people can plant and harvest during
season. We will continue to participate
and strive to give back to the community
that give to us. If you have a need for service
volunteers, email us at
[email protected]

Transitional Apartments
Our new TAP program is currently housing
15 previously Homeless men women and
children. Soon, we look to secure three
more apartments to bring that
number to 19. Our apartment
program is designed to provide
our clients with a chance at the
stability they’ve been deprived
of -some their entire life. Not
only are we keeping people
safe and off the street, TAP
is imparting housekeeping,
cooking, budgeting, and
financial responsibility
to our TAP participants.
We’re preparing them for real-world
expectations. Hearts spends $600 to bring
one homeless client into an apartment.
Go to our website to learn more and help
broaden this program.

We’re Moving!

August/September we’re moving our
daytime Drop-In Center to a larger
location near downtown where we’ll
have amneties we didn’t
have before such as
showers, laundry,
kitchen, kids room,
office space, and much
more. We’re excited to
see what Winter of 2015
has to bring our new
shelter space. Stop by for
a visit!

New Website
Assistant Director Ashton Munoz has
been working tirelessly on our new
website. Some features include; Message
Board, Photo Gallery, Online Volunteer
Application, Community Resource Guide
and Shelter News. Please visit us!

H4HStateCollege.org

President

▶Ashton Munoz
Vice President

▶Ginny Poorman
Executive Director

▶Erika Heinz
Fundraising Chair

▶Kina Altemose
Treasurer, Accountant

▶Phil Jones
Board Member

▶Evan Higgins
Secretary

Admin Staff
▶Ginny Poorman
Executive Director

▶Ashton Munoz
Asst. Executive Director

Acknowledgements
▷College West LLC.
▷Troy
-Base Service Unit

▷Ty Barrakman
-Youth Service Bereau

▷Ty Ford
& Danny Pierce
-Teen Challenge
▷Linds Scerbo
-American Legion Post 245
▷Kevin Gilliam
& Kim Trainer
-American Chiropractic

▷ Imperial Motor Inn

Director Ginny Poorman

▶Barry Scerbo

Director Ashton Munoz

Board Members

“whatever the need may be, we
are comitted to -figure out how to
best serve each one.”

“[I’d] feel, and wonder why poverty
and indolence were so pervasive.”

When we opened Hearts for Homeless,
I never imagined we’d be where we are
a year and a half later. Our initial hope
of getting one person per-year off the
street was a modest expectation. To date,
Hearts has helped over One hundred and
Fifteen people transition from homelessness. Fifteen of those people live in H4H
TAP Apartments. Everyone is different. Every person has a unique situation and we
owe a lot of our sucess to the unique approach we have to every indiviual client.
It’s an unfortunate truth that someitimes
their situations disqualify them for certain
county resources and Hearts is truly their
only hope. Sometimes that help looks like
a bus ticket, sometimes it’s placement in
an apartment, sometimes its a phone call
to repair a family relationship. For some
it’s rehab or an involuntary comittment
to a hospital facility. From the sensitive to
the extreme, whatever the need may be,
we are comitted to investing the time and
resources it takes to figure out how to
best serve each one. To be able to watch
our shelter programs grow and our clients
flourish is a tremendous gift. I love doing
this work and I simply couldn’t imagine
doing anything else.

When I was a child growing up in Los
Angeles, homelessness was something
I saw often. I’d lay on the floor and feel,
and wonder why poverty and indolence were so pervasive, and imagined
my childish solutions. My ideas were
anything but feasible, but my empathy
and compassions I held close and fuel
my work today. In the shelter, I have the
opportunity to employ so many of my
skills and see my efforts directly benefit
our clients, and Hearts as a whole. From
website design, to policy making, and of
course case managing, every ounce of effort has its value. Every hour volunteered
from our many gracious helpers, and
every dollar given so that we can change
lives together, all of it gives air to our mission. I am honored to stand together with
such active, compassionate people. We
will continue to strive for constant growth
towards new and exciting ways of serving
our cause. You can trust that investing in
us will always have direct impact on the
lives we serve. Thank you for being a part
of our family, and thank you for serving
our community.

Wish List

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Hearts for Homeless requires the generosity of people like you to operate. Monetary donations are a priority this season due to our move into our new location in
the fall, But goods and in-kind donations are also very important. We Need:
• Coffee • Snack foods • Paper Towels • Bottled Water • 3+ blade disposable razors • Full-Sized Bottles of Shampoo
• Printer Paper •Desktop or Laptop Computers • Hand/Power Tools • Building supplies • Bicycles • Pay-As-You-Go Cell Phones
• TracFone Cards • Gardening Supplies • Backpacks, Duffle Backs, Weekend Bags • Dish Soap & Sponges • Trash Bags

Intern Spot - Matt Gryctko

So, I’ve been an intern for a while at Hearts for Homeless. If you don’t know me, I’m the one with
the goatee and the grumpy cat hanging from my backpack. My friends would say it’s my power animal.
It kind of defines my outlook on life. Interestingly, this relates to Hearts because of what they do. When
I first met them last year to do a project for my small business class, we came in with the best intentions,
and a desire to help. Since we were marketing and management students, we looked at Hearts as a
package that could be marketed, and one thing stood out. They were like a family. There was a lot of
love there. When we first came in with my team, we were introduced to many people, but one stood out, a
self-proclaimed “Mr. Miserable.” I laughed because my friends would consider me the same way. He was a nice guy, but not
so happy about his situation. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and part of my team had come in to volunteer and help cleaning
the shelves in the shelter. We were working together again, and it felt great. After they said “Hi,” I asked if they remembered “Mr.
Miserable.” Colby, my partner, remarked about how “Mr. Miserable” wasn’t so miserable anymore as he joked and laughed in the
corner. And, that’s when I saw that he was different. His whole demeanor had changed. It was right in front of my face. I could see
that Hearts really helps people, not just in a material things, but on a whole different level. They are good for people. They give
support and love and people are changed by hearts. I’ve heard stories about how people have been so grateful to hearts for changing
their lives, but this is a time when I got to see it in action, and I didn’t even notice the change until it was pointed out to me by
someone who could who hadn’t been around in a while. So here’s to you “Mr.Miserable” and your hopefully ever-improving life.

§

•Mission: Meeting Needs, Loving People.
•Purpose:

To provide basic necessities, a safe place during the day for the homeless and those at-risk of becoming homeless to gather faculties such
as; job hunting skills, computer skills, and resume writing. To have a constant support system in place where they feel welcome, love, and guidance. To establish
a foundation for our clients and future clients while they learn how to maintain a stable life, job, and housing. To provide housing opportunities where they may
employ their growth. To change the communities outlook on the homeless population by education and interaction. Finally, to grow constantly to meet the
needs of the homeless and stand united against the homeless crisis.

•Core Values: Appreciating Diversity in Character - Gracious Professionalism - Loving Everyone Unconditionally

§

Picking Up the Pieces - A Life Restored
Thomas’ story began 40 years ago. The scattered pieces that came together over the last year paints a picture of a
fragile man confused, and misunderstood. Mistreated by the justice system and lost in his own mind for a large portion of his
life, you see, Thomas suffers from Paranoid Schizophrenia --the constant-struggle, life-controlling level of schizophrenia that,
without intervention would have left him fragmented, adrift, and likely incarcerated… again.
(Names have been changed)
Thomas paced the walkway at our Drop-In center cautiously. The jail counselor who transported him explained the food theft
that resulted in his year-long sentence. And while the Jail had exhausted every avenue to find a place he could be released, Hearts was
the only organization willing to welcome him. Thomas placed himself on a seat in the corner and stared quietly. To us the indicators were
unmistakable; overly precautious, refusing to be touched, blunted responses, confused and withdrawn. When it came to inquire about
current medications, “None, why?” The counselor answered. Could the Jail counselors really have no idea this man was suffering from a
moderate personality disorder? The counselor couldn’t confirm or deny. A bit later, one of our directors noticed Thomas waiting near the
entrance door “May I smoke a cigarette sir?” he asked. He was conditioned to use this certain politeness… refreshing but sad. Our inclinations of what his stay in jail had done to him aside, we began to work with one of the most heart-warming clients we’ve come to know.
Quickly we came to understand the severity of Thomas’ condition. Watching him walk in and out of traffic, wandering around soaking wet
in 10° weather, sleeping outside or not at all for days, having to remind him to eat, and of course refusing to receive medical attention…
We were pressed to get him the help he needed immediately and it was becoming a matter of life and death.
Through our relationship with CAN HELP and Base Service Unit, we were able to involuntarily commit him to observation where
he would be safe, and receive medical attention and medication he needed desperately. 28 days later and unsure of how Thomas would
react or whether he would trust us moving forward, we were met with a delightful, smiling, brightened, and lucid man that had been
waiting for days to hug and kiss us both on the cheek. This side of Thomas had a light in his eye. Anyone could see, something that had
been buried for many years, was able to surface again. All it took was for someone to notice and invest in his life and in his story. Someone needed to dive into Thomas’ mess and love him through it.
The road to revival was shaky. And it was often a knock-down, drag-out fight to get his medications. After all, they were prohibitively expensive to both obtain and administer. But having Hearts there to fight for him is the reason that today, Thomas lives in an
apartment. He is slowly learning to manage his money, schedule his appointments, shower and change his clothes on a regular basis, care
about his appearance, even reconnect with his affinity towards Bob Dylan and experience the unbound pleasure of music once again.
He will never have what many of us would consider a “normal” life. He will always require medication and assistance throughout. He may
never fully dominate his illness, but he is living in freedom, with friends that want to see him have a chance to make what he wants of it.
All thanks to generous and thoughtful people like you, and to Hearts for Homeless.

Volunteer Spot -Andrea Knepper


My name is Andrea Knepper and I have been volunteering for Hearts for the Homeless for almost a
year. I first heard about Hearts while I was sitting in church one Sunday when the pastor mentioned volunteer and
serving opportunities at the shelter. I honestly didn’t even know that we had a homeless shelter in State College, yet
alone a shelter a block away from the actual church service that I was sitting in. But I felt God tugging on my heart
to check the place out.

The first time I entered the shelter I brought a meal to be served for lunch that day. I remember it was
pulled pork with rolls and a side salad (I never forget food!). Everyone was very thankful, appreciative, and it
seemed to be a friendly atmosphere. You could say I was breaking the ice and making my first impression with
food! I then brought everyone another meal and decided to hang around a bit longer. I have never been in a
homeless shelter before so I really didn’t know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised to see interactions
amongst the clients and volunteers as if they were a family. This inspired me to want to put in more time at the
shelter and commit to a once a week shift.

Today, if I reflect on my time at Hearts, I feel like my eyes have been opened. I first felt naive to think that
there was no homelessness in State College, but c’mon it’s Happy Valley, right?! However, from my time spent at
Hearts I learned that there are homeless folks in our tiny, happy college town. There are homeless people from young to old, families to drifters, and in many
cases people who are on the verge of being homeless. I grew in appreciation for the things that I take for granted every day like my home, food, my shower, my
bed, my family, my health, my mental stability (the list goes on).

The clients, or my friends rather, have been like a second family to me. I cheer them on when they get a job, an apartment, or fight an addiction. I’m
inspired by the love and kindness that I see from other volunteers, directors, and even the clients to each other. God has clearly softened my heart for these
people, and I never would have expected to have gained so much enlightenment and friendship. As much as I want to help them, even if it’s just sitting and
having a friendly conversation or serving a cup of coffee, I have gained so much in return.
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” - Proverbs 11:25

Establishing Confidence

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Not everyone has the priveledge of having confidence,
emotional fortitude, or skills needed to enter or re-enter the job market.
These are also all factors in whether or not people settle into their roles,
stay in work or succeed in other parts of their life for that matter. We do
our best at H4H to provide our clients with interview training, interview
assistance, work clothes, and job search assistance. However, success
requires so much more than that. At Hearts, we connect with our clients
and try to understand what can best help each of them individually. We are
a part of their lives and sometimes the only family thay have. We make an
effort to understand their history and offer guidance and mentorship. We
take part through the good and the bad, and from there we help arm them
with what they need for life. Join us through that tremendous journey.

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