Peek-a-Boo, I See You

The giggles and chuckles were intertwined. The shiny remnants of glorious slobber shimmered around the corners of his mouth. His wide smile boasting the sprouts of 4 tiny teeth was enough to melt any human heart. “Peek-a-boo, I see you”, his mother proclaimed with a high pitched voice. Her son delighted at each call. He held onto the moments of joy. He reflected the love that his eyes were embracing. Each time his mother went invisible behind the wall of her hands, the little one searched feverishly for her. Until her eyes would peek out above the rim of her fingers and his delight would return. “Peek-a-boo, I see you”.

For a family that has grown up outside of the trauma, and homelessness that many of our Acres of Hope women and children have faced, it would seem a normal occurrence to experience a game of Peek-a-Boo. Yet for an Acres of Hope family who has faced the odds and trauma that led to a life of homelessness, such a game proves that transformation really happens. Instead of worrying about where their next meal is coming from, they play Peek-a-Boo. Instead of a crying baby and a mother clutching her head in stress, there is laughter. Instead of a mother and child standing in line hoping to get into an emergency shelter, they play inside the safety and warmth of their own home. A game of Peak-a-Boo at Acres of Hope means a family is more than just making it, they are thriving.

We delight to hear the laughter, we love to see the joy. We are comforted by knowing another family is safe. That a woman and her child are in the process of breaking their cycle of homelessness. So the next time you hear it, those words, “Peek-a-Boo, I see you”, remember our Acres of Hope families. Remember to pray for them, because they are doing the hard work of renewing their lives. Pray for them to know more beautiful moments of transformation. Pray for them to become the Family of Hope they are striving to be.

To become a partner of prayer for Acres of Hope families and to pray for our campus:

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or call 530-878-8030

Cycle Broken: Jennifer and Gio's Story

Growing up, life had it’s ups and downs. I was 13 when I started smoking weed, and then I began to experiment with other drugs here and there. My childhood was a mixture of good days, and other days held some dysfunctional behaviors that kept me a prisoner to the substances I learned to love. My family had it’s struggles. My mother had been abused so she was a tough love kind of mom. She was an alcoholic in my early years but when I turned 3 she got sober, and then began wrestling with depression. As I got older abuse found their emotional and physical claws etched deep in my heart. I ran to self medicating to cope with my inner screams.

The longer I used my cravings got worse. I was doing something that was hurting my family, so I would use more to try to cover up the guilt and shame

At Age 24 life sent me it’s hardest blow. I lost my father, and he was my world. He always had a way of making me feel loved and cared for. He made me feel like I could do, or be anything. When he died the heaviness I felt inside was too much, and I plunged deeper into addiction. Along with drug usage came toxic relationships with men. I was stealing and lying, my family was disappointed. My world changed though when I had my son, Giovanni. From the first moment I looked at him I knew I had to give him the best, but I didn’t know how. I couldn’t even give him a home, I was bouncing around from place to place, I had no stability. I knew I had to get help, and find a way to change my life.

Gio was 3 months old and I was 35 years old when we came to Acres of Hope in the winter of 2017. I wanted to break the cycle of homelessness. I wanted to have enough time to really focus on the things that were causing me to keep going out and be self destructive over and over again. I needed to learn the tools so I could be self sufficient and be less codependent on my family. I've learned at Acres of Hope how to be a mother to my son Gio. I also now know how to be appreciative of the time I am given to spend with my son. I learned to consider thought over emotion that feelings are temporary. I've also learned what its like to have self worth and how important self care is. I learned to have structure in my life. The most important thing I learned is through God I can do all things.

Gio and I now live in our own home. I work full time as a monitor for homeless individuals locating permanent housing. I have come full circle. I use to be the one homeless looking for a place to stay, now I have my own home and I can help others find their way. I just wanted to take a moment and tell you all how much I appreciate what you have done for me and my son. Gio was raised outside of the cycle of homelessness because of you! He said his first words, began to crawl, walk, dance, and have true joy because of you. We have broken the cycle. We are a family of Hope. I will always remind Gio of the kindness of those who support Acres of Hope, and how our lives were changed by the pure love expressed.

Jennifer, An Acres of Hope Alumni

To help change more lives, and break the cycle of homelessness for families like Jennifer’s

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call 530-878-8030

I Hope You Dance!!!

She lifts her hands high in the sky

As if heaven was close enough to drop in and say hi

She sways side to side, and has no cares

A tear every once in a while will trickle from the eyes that she bares

Each movement a melody erupting in her heart

For she knows what it feels like when light bursts forth out of the dark

She hums gleefully the tune of her soul

Revealing a women who was once fearful is now growing bold

She dances down the pathway

She dances in the road

She dances because she's free

And her story must be told

She's no longer homeless

She has a place to rest easy

She dances to unleash the joy and uncage her tranquility

Oh dear woman, reveal the Glory

Of the one who came close and transformed your story

I hope you dance. 

 

A Home Of Our Own

Home, it's a word that would warm my heart at the thought, yet send chills through my body in reality. I was pregnant, and homeless. When I went to the hospital to have my child, we had great care and I wondered, how was I going to leave knowing we had nowhere to go. If I opened my mouth and told the doctors, I feared they would take my child away. What was I going to do. I spent the next few months couch surfing with my newborn wherever someone would have me. Yet I grew in fear as I thought about the reality of one day not having a place for me and my child to go. We needed a home. 

Leading up to my circumstances of having a child was a roller coaster life. I was in and out of the foster care system. The moment you set your feet down, it was time once again to get your trash bag of clothes packed again to relocate. I would move back home for a short stint, only to be removed from my parents care again. My life lacked stability, it lacked hope, it lacked the warmth of having a home.

My life now however is different, I have found my home. One day while couch surfing at a friends house, her mother shared with us, about a place she had just heard about called Acres of Hope. She told us they gave women and children who were homeless a place to live for up to two years, while they fight to renew their lives, and become strong families. I checked out their information online and I was amazed, they helped women clear records, gain employment, reunify with children taken into the foster care system, gain mentors and all the tools they need to be able to step out on their own. This excited me, I could feel the rise of hope in my core. I looked at my child that evening and decided to fill out the application. 

A couple weeks later after the interview process, I found out I was accepted to move onto campus. When I arrived I was given a key, and I heard the worker say, "This is the key to your home." I felt the water form in my eyes. As I held my baby tucked in my arms and slowly began to walk toward my cottage, I knew something had changed. I unlocked the door, and it was beautiful. There were quotes on the walls, the cottage had a crib and new baby toys. There was a bed for me, I no longer had to sleep on the couch, or floor. There were books, and all that we would need. I sat on the bed with my baby and I cried, I whispered in his ear, "We are home". His gentle coo warmed my heart, as if he knew we had found our place. 

My child has been growing so much, into a healthy beautiful little boy, and my life has been transforming. Acres of Hope took care of the physical needs, and has really dug deep beneath the surface of layers of my past, my pain, and helped me and my child have a renewed life for our present and future. We have a home, and a life of Hope. 

Today you can be a part of helping more families have a home of their own. 

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call 530-878-8030

 

 

Little Hands

Little Hands I am so thankful that you will never know

The obstacles I faced, trying to find a safe place for you to grow

You will know life outside of searching for a home

You will be raised with care, and never be left alone

You will know love, joy and peace,

You will have good food, and stability

Little hands I love you, and I am doing my best

I am renewing my life, so no weight will be carried around on your chest

I am your mom little one, and it's my job to keep you safe

Provide for you and guide you, that's my role, and my place

Little hands I am here for you, and will always be

Thanks to Acres of Hope for giving a big hand up to you and to me.

Acres of Hope is a place where the cycle of homelessness is broken for women and children who seek a path of renewal and transformation for their lives. The families of Acres of Hope are able to pass on to the next generation a life of true joy, patience, and love. 

Get involved today and help families break the cycle of homelessness

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or call 530-446-1621

The Lives You've Saved

A baby kicking in the womb. A woman who was contemplating if she could take anymore of what life was throwing at her. A child closing his eyes and plugging his ears, to silence out the world. The woman who is looking for a fresh start after recovering from a life of addiction.  These are the stories of lives you have helped save. 

Each day at Acres of Hope we feel so grateful for the lives that have been saved and rescued from various experiences that women and children entering the program have made it through. Everyday the women and children of Acres of Hope get to experience love that contagiously is extended from the volunteers and staff, to the Acres families which then impacts those who come in contact with the residents. Every dollar you donate, every minute you spend volunteering, every time you share about Acres of Hope to a friend, or those who get their church, and community groups involved, you are helping us save and transform lives. We couldn't see lives transformed in such a powerful way without your gracious love and kindness to our families. 

We just wanted to take a minute to say thank you for helping Acres of Hope save and redeem lives. 

To get involved today,

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or call 530-878-8030

The Monster: Escaping the Trauma Within

"There is a coldness that surrounds me, as the shivers ripple through my body. It's voice makes me go numb, it's footsteps makes me tuck as far inside of myself as I can go. I am afraid. No matter where I go everything turns to glass, it is coming, and no matter how loud I scream, no matter how fast I run, no matter what space I crawl inside, it is there. It always seems to find me. How do I escape, how can I finally be free. I have been out of it's grasp in the physical world for years now, but it is still here, it is the monster living inside of me." 

Many of the women and children who come to Acres of Hope have experienced in their life extreme abuse and trauma. The staff and volunteers  work diligently to break down the barriers in the physical realm of their lives and the lives of their children. Yet there are barriers that are unseen that must be torn down as well. For many of the families at Acres of Hope they are fighting to overcome the unseen monsters of their past. The abusers who took advantage, brought harm, or showed ultimate neglect, and emotional abuse to them. As Acres of Hope staff and volunteers dive deep to care for our families we recognize there is more than what is seen that has kept these families in homelessness. We realize we must help them break through and deal with the monsters within. We must be willing to sit and listen to enter in to the inner sanctuaries of our families and seek to step inside the painful walls of their hearts, and reveal to them they are no longer alone. We must be willing to help them walk out the doors and escape the trauma within. 

Through prayer, the revelations that come from daily bible studies, and a listening ear, women and children are able to unpack the lock box of secrets they have been carrying around that was weighing down their hearts. They are able to experience the freedom of hearing you were a child, you were vulnerable, most importantly, that abuse was not your fault. Acres of Hope staff and volunteers help them deal with the root issues going on so that our families can learn to step out of the trauma within and truly live, truly have hope. 

When our families are able to let go of the weight on the internal, they can begin to take responsibility for the choices they are now making in the physical world around them. Each day Acres of Hope fights to bring freedom through the willingness to come close enough to listen, and proclaim truth into the lives of our families. 

For the women and children who are facing monsters and seeking to escape the trauma within, we are here. You can join us in the fight. Donate, volunteer, become a mentor, they need you.

To help Acres of Hope families escape the monsters and escape the trauma within:

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org  or Call: -530-878-8030

 

 

 

Twas the Last Day of Summer Break

Twas the last day of summer break and a boy sat on the couch

Reflecting on his season off, in the big Acres of Hope house

His days were filled with wonder, and each memory brought a smile

For he had done so much, and school would be starting in a little while

He ran, jumped, and played, with his brother and his sister

He went to amusement parks, and rode on rides that were a twister

He went on fun trips, and ventured new trails

Created new memories as each day his family prevailed

He got to enjoy his life, as he grew more in his stature

He practiced new life skills and tools he set to master

His family was continuing to grow healthy and strong

He would be loved and begin school with a caring send off

He would have his lunch packed, and his supplies for class

He would have all his paperwork filled out when the teacher asked

As the evening set in and his mother asked him to remember

The events of the summer that will be a part of their new found stories, forever

That little boy remembered a summer filled with glee

While all the time living in safety and stability

He swam in lakes and treaded water in pools

He grew a lot as he learned new skills and tools. 

He petted the animals when they went to the zoo

His imaginations grew as FairyTale Town revealed dreams do come true

But when he was asked what was the greatest summer moment of them all

He proudly whispered, "hanging with my mom, I can't wait until fall"

Acres of Hope provides a safe and stable place where women and children breaking the cycle of homelessness get an opportunity to truly live outside of a life of trauma. Acres of Hope families get to experience a life where they have a home, and can grow together as a strong and healthy family. The memories created and shared are building new lasting traditions for families seeking a life beyond what they had previously known. 

You can be a part of creating the stories and traditions of Acres of Hope families.  Like the many wonderful people that have impacted their lives this summer, you can have an impact.

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or call: 530-878-8030

I Am Free To Be A Kid: An Acres of Hope Poem

Hear me run, jump, and play

See me defy the odds each day

Statistics were against me

Labels sought to define me

Trauma was a test

But today you can call me blessed

You see each day I am learning what it means to be free

To come out from all the hiding to show the world the gift God made in me

I know longer shudder when I hear footsteps come through the room

I no longer find security behind the sofa or hiding in the closet behind the broom

For my mom has brought me to a safe place where we can now grow

The staff and volunteers are friendly, and they love me, you know

They teach us about the Bible, share with us new tools,

They make us sweet treats and guide us, and we get special prizes when we've been following the rules

We have a special park where we can rip and run everyday

Acres of Hope is a special place where me and my mom have a home and they don't send us away

We've found where we belong until we grow strong and can stand

Now I am free to be a kid, thanks Acres of Hope for lending us a hand. 

 

Acres of Hope is transforming the lives of women and children to break the cycle of homelessness. You can get involved today, and be a part of helping Acres families have a fresh start. 

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call 530-878-8030

Redemption Park: Transforming kids with fun

At Acres of Hope there is a beautiful place where little lives are being transformed, Redemption Park. Redemption Park is a part of the Acres of Hope campus where children can go and have a renewed experience of healthy play, and interaction with others. For many children coming out of homelessness, the idea of park has different meanings. Park may have been a place of trauma, drug usage, or a hangout when a person has nowhere else to go. Instead of focusing on playtime, a child may be focused on where mama is and what is happening to her. 

Many children when they arrive to Acres of Hope and experience Redemption Park for the first time, are in a daze, they are looking for somewhere to hide, or are looking for their mom to make sure she is safe. However after those first couple of days pass, you hear the transformation begin to take place. "Mom let's go to the park", screams a child. The scene is beautiful, boys racing their little trikes and bikes around the miniature raceway. The sound of chains singing out from a child soaring on the swing set. The laughter erupting as children go speeding down the slide. Competitions had on the monkey bars and climbing arenas. Giggles coming out from the play tunnel. The transformation is priceless. 

Redemption Park like all the other areas of Acres of Hope is a place that helps women and children know that they are really breaking the cycle of homelessness to live out a life of hope. 

Won't you join us in transforming lives.

Visit us at: acresofhopeonline.org or Call us at: 530-878-8030  

The Tea Party: The Transformation of a Child

Her sparkling crystal blue eyes peeked at me. Her mother's legs were the walls she hid behind. I called her name but she scrunched herself further behind her mother. She grabbed tightly to her pants. I pulled out all the tricks for allowing a little one to know she was safe, but she was not buying it. Throughout the week I would see her during different activities, and I would offer her the same invitation. A simple wave, and I would wait to see if I would get one in return. No matter where I would find her, she would hide. She hid behind chairs, under the table, and when there was no where to hide, she would put both hands over her face and turn to the wall. 

Then last Saturday it happened! I was sitting with some of the mothers and their children, and I saw her. Before I could give her my normal invitation by a wave, there she was, walking toward me, with bright eyes, a terrific little smile, and a small tea pot and pink cup. Her words were simple, "Tea for you". I could feel my throat get caught up. I held out my hand and received her little cup, received her little invitation. For the next hour, I watched as she walked in and out of the room pretending to refill her pot to bring me endless cups of tea. There was something about that day, that moment when she realized I was safe. That I was approachable. Most importantly it was the day that the giver of the invitation had switched. I was invited in by this wonderful little girl, who I was watching find hope. It is a tea party I will never forget. 

The transformation that happens at Acres of Hope for children is so amazing. Children who have experienced the cycle of homelessness with their mothers come from backgrounds where hope was silenced and unseen. When children arrive with their mothers at Acres of Hope they can breathe, in some cases for the first time. They learn they are safe, they can trust, and most importantly they are loved. They get to watch as their mothers grow into strong healthy women, and they begin to imitate the actions of strong and healthy lifestyles. 

You can take part in transforming the life of an Acres of Hope child. Perhaps you will experience getting an invitation to a tea party. Maybe you will have your heart filled by seeing transformation happen right before your eyes. 

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call 530-878-8030 to get involved today. 

A Tent Beneath The Bridge

Children laughing, delight in their eyes as they race to the park on their bikes. A baby taking her first steps as her mother claps her hands in delight. The smell of a home cooked meal filling up the kitchen, as the sound of toys played heavily against the floor fills the air. Yet a mother wakes up from her dream, and the cold breeze fills her nostrils. The wind brushes against the fabric walls, as the clapping sounds of metal poles sing through the air. She pulls back the flap to open the tent, looks at the tall, thick cement walls holding up the bridge above her. She listens to the vehicles that serve as her alarm clock in the morning, and she realizes she wants something more. She wants her dream to become a reality. 

We have all probably at some point in our lives been driving along, and noticed somewhere in the midst of our travels, a community of tents beneath a bridge. Perhaps our hearts for a moment became saddened. Perhaps we questioned the circumstances of those living in such a condition. However, rare is the moment that we have been blessed to hear the story behind the scenes. At Acres of Hope we get to hear the stories behind the scenes from the mothers who were coming from traumatic circumstances without a proper way to climb out of poverty, or the stability to enhance one's life. A pursuit of safety kept some of the women awake at night. A desire for survival kept them searching for freedom, yet a lack of resources would keep them in dire situations. For one mom, her place was in a tent beneath a bridge. Yet who knew her dream would come true when she found out about Acres of Hope. 

At Acres of Hope women and their children who have experienced the insecurity, and lack of resources needed for basic survival, are given the help needed to tear down barriers and break the cycle of homelessness. They leave their broken circumstances to dwell in their own cottages for up to two years. They are equipped to achieve employment and grow into strong mothers who can support their children with their own funds that they have earned. They are aided in finishing their education. For women whose children were removed from their custody because of their bleak state of living, Acres of Hope helps them through with the process of reunification. They are taught life skills and mentored through a renewal process, that produces transformed families. 

From a tent to her own home, one Acres of Hope mother realizes her dreams have become a reality.  No longer does she play the game of survival while living in fear, rather she has grown into a loving strong mother who has support, a community, and a healthy balanced life in a home. Her family is thriving. She has come along way from living in a tent beneath a bridge. 

You can help Acres of Hope transform stories of survival into stories of HOPE. 

To get involved today visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call 530-878-8030

Career Women: From Homeless to Hired

When women come into Acres of Hope with their children they are coming with the desire to be independent, to be successful, to break the cycle of homelessness. They have come from histories of trauma, neglect, and instability. Some have never been employed or have never been equipped with the proper tools to gain employment. When a woman has come from a background of survival, street smarts are what get her through the rough years of her life. In order to help her to stand in today's job force someone must step in and teach her there is another path to go down. As a village that raises up a person, we can raise up women who have had no true foundation for being raised themselves. We can begin to ask the questions that will inform us of the barriers preventing a woman from becoming employed. In doing so, often enough we will hear the stories of tragedies and trauma. We hear the stories of a woman passed from home to home, tossed into a system of handouts without a true method of raising her up. 

At Acres of Hope women practice the skills they need to become successful out in the work force. With stable daily schedules, the women of Acres of Hope learn to put into practice time management. Each mother is engaged with the community at Acres of Hope where they get to practice good communication, conflict management, selflessness, and most importantly how to work together to get the job done. Volunteers from the community come onto Acres of Hope's campus and share resources, such as job skills, life skills, and career building tools that enable women to be equipped in resume writing, application filing, interviewing, and most importantly a strong work ethic that stands out to their employers. 

Acres of Hope women have made such an impact in the work force, employers are calling for more referrals. Acres of Hope is not just getting our women into minimum wage jobs, a high number of our women are finding careers above the base pay in their communities. Careers that allow them to support themselves and their children, careers with a future beyond just getting by.  As each woman steps out into the work force, we see the strength and courage of a woman of hope that has fought the good fight to overcome her past and the barriers keeping her and her children in homelessness. 

Acres of Hope women go from homeless to hired, and you can be a part of helping them succeed. Volunteer with us, and share a life skill, or job skill that can take our women to the next level of their lives. A life outside of homelessness. A life of hope.

Call today: 530-878-8030 or visit: acresofhopeonline.org

Where We Have Been: An Acres of Hope Poem

We held our heads in shame, as we faced society

We dared not make eye contact for fear of what others would see

We covered our bruises, we painted over our scars

We pretended not to ache, instead we smiled because we've come so far

We were given to systems, shuffling from home to home

Couch surfing, told we deserved it, when we felt most alone

Some of us packed our baggage and we carried it to a bridge

Put up our tents and stole food to provide for our kids

We were judged and so we hid,

No one came close to hear the stories we lived

Some of us saw suicides, some saw addictions

Some saw abuse, and family frictions

We forged our paths, and did our best

To remain numb through the storms, and sail through the tests

There is a world full of people who have not been where we have been

So everyday I thank God for Acres of Hope who stepped in to help us find our way again.

 

Acres of Hope is helping homeless women and children break the cycle of homelessness. You are invited to come close enough to hear the stories behind the scenes. You can find out where our Acres of Hope families have been and help make sure they never have to go back. Set up a time to come tour our beautiful campus, and see how you can get involved in changing lives.

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call: 530-878-8030

A Family Like Ours

We have a home, and I never dreamed this day could happen

We were separated, my children in the Foster Care system and I felt rotten

I didn't have a place that we could call our own. 

I couldn't feed my children, we were fighting on our own

But then we heard about Acres of Hope, and I figured we should give it a shot

I was shown how to stand up, and my children reunified is what I got

We learned to live together and be a family

I gained life skills, and my kids have a healthy mommy

We have broken the cycle, and we are finally free

From the cycle of generations that walked in dysfunction before me

We have been transformed, and we have been renewed

Everyday I fought for my kids, which shaped my attitude

I knew God had more for us, and it came through Acres of Hope

I am so thankful that we are now strong, bound by God's yoke

For we can testify of the grace and love that was shown to us when life was hard

Oh yes, and we will never forget the renewal Acres of Hope offered to a family like ours.

 

Acres of Hope breaks the cycle of homelessness for women and their children. You can be a part of their transformation story by getting involved as a volunteer. If you have a gift for design or love helping customers, become a volunteer at our Renew Boutique and Home Store and create a warm and welcoming experience for shoppers. If you have a life skill or employment skill you can teach, feel free to contact Acres of Hope to share your skill with mothers preparing to step out into the world successfully. If you have a heart for children, come volunteer in our childcare center, and show love and compassion to children renewing their lives. 

Become a part of the success stories of our Acres of Hope families. 

Get involved today!!

Call 530-878-8030 or Visit acresofhopeonline.org

A woman like me: An Acres of Hope Poem

Today is the day, Something has to change

I filled out the application, and God has called my name

Today I get to step out and change my life

I will fight to get my children back, that is my hope, my light

I didn't have it easy but Acres of Hope staff said they will give me a chance

They will walk this path of renewal with me, they will teach me to dance

They said, "we will walk through the barricades, we will tear down the barriers"

I'm clinging to the hope of new life, because my old life couldn't have been scarier

I am leaving a life of depression, violence and addiction

Abuse, neglect, and pain, and to all of that I say good riddance

God help me to be all that you made me to be

I have been trying so hard on my own, but it seems I am still wrestling

For I always believed no one could love a woman like me

Until the day when I got the call that Acres of Hope accepted me

Now I'll know love unconditional and a grace that is strong

That will bind up my broken heart and help me along

They gave me a key, and told me, "Welcome home"

I have this strong feeling no longer will I have to fight alone

I'm overwhelmed, I can breathe, and I now dream of who I can be

All because Acres of Hope said yes to loving a woman like me.

 

Acres of Hope is breaking the cycle of homelessness for women seeking a place to transform and renew their lives and their young children. Each mother is given a tiny home for up to two years where they can have the stability to look at the root issues that have brought her to a life of homelessness. She is then aided in finishing her education, gaining employment, reunifying with her children in the system if needed and given the tools and life skills to be a strong and independent mother who raises up her family to succeed in the community around them. 

You could become a mentor to a young mother who is seeking to transform her life. Make an impact today.

Call 530-878-8030 or Visit acresofhopeonline.org 

 

 

 

A Child Like Me: An Acres of Hope Poem

At Acres of Hope when I first arrive

Don't be surprised if I don't want to look into your eyes

I might feel safe in a corner or behind a chair

If you come close I may cower and get in a tight ball because I'm scared

I might be angry and express myself

Because somewhere in my young life, I was separated from my source of help

I may have nightmares, and I may cry tears

I might be afraid when my Mommy's not near

For I have experienced trauma, and I am doing my best

To function in a world that has offered me and my mom many tests

We have been searching for a place of safety and my mom says it's here

At Acres of Hope where we can grow beyond all of our fears

I already see it beginning because it's safe enough to come out from behind the chair

I can come out from behind the tables, out of the corners, and claim my share

Of love and support that's freely offered here

Maybe mom is right, it's time to stop the tears

Mom now reads me stories, and takes me to play in the park

We are no longer afraid when the lights go out and reveal the dark

My mom tells me stories of Jesus, and she sings songs too

It's something new that Acres of Hope taught us how to do

I believe we are changing, and we will be free

No longer will homelessness be a label for a child like me.

The children of Acres of Hope are some of the most delightful and wonderful gifts that God has given to this world. Yet in their young lives they have already experienced some of the harsh realities of this world. Everyday Acres of Hope seeks to restore families to wholeness, and the ability to breathe in the transformed life of renewal through the power of Jesus Christ. The children of Acres of Hope are changing each day into strong, respectful little jewels of Hope. They reveal the beauty of what can happen when unconditional love is poured into a life. 

Today you can get involved in transforming the life of an Acres of Hope child. Become an Angel Grandparent, and show our children that they can walk in the freedom they were always meant to have.

Call 530-878-8030  or  Visit acresofhopeonline.org

 

 

 

 

The Waiting List: If You Could Change A Life Would You?

Then she said, "Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest until he has settled it today."   Ruth 3:18

Have you ever sat waiting for something that you knew would change your life? Maybe it was the new job, the new car, the new home. Whatever it was, you could visualize your life in a new place of bliss. Then the moment finally arrives. The warmth of your family settled into their new home. The feel of the breeze flowing through your hair as you drive by in your new car. The feeling of security as you can count on a paycheck to pay those bills piling up. Relief, satisfaction, stability are some of the words that can be used to describe the moment when the waiting comes to an end. 

Each day at Acres of Hope inquiring phone calls are received at the front desk. Women searching for refuge - and hope. They search for a place their children can call home. These women have heard the stories of transformation. They have seen the effects of renewal in the lives of current and former families that have gone and are going through the program at Acres of Hope. They have heard about mothers reunifying with children. They have heard about the women who have finished their education. They have heard about the life skills and employment skills that are changing lives at Acres of Hope. These women who call Acres of Hope are waiting for the moment when they can come into the program and have the stability and support that they need to care for their children. They wait for the day when they will be added to the list of stories of transformation. They long for the day when they will be counted among those who have been renewed at Acres of Hope. Each day that passes, the waiting list grows. Mothers and their children who are searching for a place they can call their own. A place where they can find the renewal and transformation that will change their lives forever. 

Today you can be a part of the team that changes the lives of our women and children. You can be a helping hand and heart that says to a mother and her children the wait is over. You can help them know the freedom from abuse, trauma, instability, and shadows of feeling unloved. Today you can donate and help support Acres of Hope in providing home and hope for women and children breaking the cycle of homelessness.

 

Donate today and help us tell women and their children, the wait is over!

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org   or    Call: 530-878-8030

 

 

 

Bandages: Getting Beneath the Surface

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me...     Matthew 25:35

I am so thankful for the food closets, the thrift stores, the safe houses, and the many volunteers in our society that get up everyday to fight against the ever growing homeless crisis we see here in America. The headlines of our newspapers ask the question "Will Homelessness End?"  For us here at Acres of Hope we can answer that question positively "Yes we see it ending everyday!"  Yet for many the constant cycle of seeing the same faces enter into the social services offices to receive food, clothing, and vouchers is like a hamster wheel where people are running around in circles never getting out of their destructive life patterns. 

At Acres of Hope we see the hamster wheel cycles of going from program to program come to an end.  At Acres of Hope we get beneath the surface of providing the basic needs of survival to getting women and children to a point of thriving. We fight hard each day to tear down every barrier preventing a woman and her children from getting out of the cycle of homelessness. Acres of Hope looks at the root issues that led a family into their state of instability, and we begin to defy each odd. It is amazing that so many helping hands feed and clothe the homeless, it shines a light into the dark that those without homes are facing. Yet at some point there has to be an approach that both meets the basic needs for life as well as breaks the cycle. Providing just the basic needs can be like a bandage which covers up the surface issue, but beneath the bandage is a growing wound that if not addressed can lead to more dramatic consequences.

At Acres of Hope we seek to get to the root of homelessness. We look at each barrier and the traumas that are creating havoc in the lives of our women and children. We seek to clean out the festering cycles bringing a family down. We look at broken patterns, destructive behaviors such as addiction, self-harm, abuse, etc., so that we can identify and address the unhealthy behaviors of dysfunction and breathe new life and hope into those areas. We then seek to administer the healing balm that will lead a women and her children into success by providing resources in the community for finishing education, job training, mentoring, recovery, church involvement, and life skills.

By the time graduation comes for a woman and her children, our Acres of Hope families have settled into their own homes. They have finished their educations, they are employed, and the barriers to healthy independence have been removed. The Acres of Hope families have broken the cycle of homelessness, and that is something only the deep surgery of transformation and renewal can do. When it comes to homelessness, we have to be more than just bandages that stay on the surface of the issue. We must be willing to go deep and heal the wounds, so something fresh and new can grow there. This is the approach that will bring healing that breaks the cycle of homelessness for women and children.

Get involved in diving beneath the surface and providing healing to the Acres of Hope families today.

Call Today 530-878-8030    or    visit acresofhopeonline.org

Our Identity: An Acres of Hope Raw Prayer

Here I am hidden behind walls

Only to watch them fall

Cause I've been through it all

My pride keeps me standing tall

But behind closed doors

See me Broken

Choking on the past

Wondering how long a good thing will last

Never ask for what you need

To dismantle the disappointment of realizing the only one who cares about me, is me

Here I am God, trying to raise a child

When all the while

I find myself in need

My heart shed upon my sleeve

The Acres of Hope staff ask me to believe

I can be free from the chains enslaving me

Throw me a rope then

For I've been choking

On the tears that have been my food

Traumatic histories that were no good

I'm here God

Now you desire that I surrender

You promise to free me from being tossed in life's blender

Have you heard the cries to rise up and defend her

The beautiful woman inside of me

Here at Acres of Hope I'm learning to stand up on my feet

I'm learning to embrace all of me

I can see there's a jewel hidden inside

Of the beautiful person this world sought to hide

The Acres of Hope staff say I can break the cycle

Homelessness will no longer be my family's title

Here I am God, all of me, 

Please be my strength as I press on in this journey

Bring along warriors who will help us see

All we can be

As we embrace the day when the word homeless is no longer a description of our identity. 

 

Everyday behind the scenes the work of renewal is happening at Acres of Hope. The wrestling  of the mind between the old and new ways of life. The breaking off of strongholds to approach and attain true freedom and experience pure transformation. The women and children of Acres of Hope are taking the narrow road down the pathway of deeper faith, strong and healthy bonds for their family. The cycle of homelessness is breaking at Acres of Hope. 

 

You can be a part of helping to remove the word homeless from the description of our families identities.

To get involved call: 530-446-1621 or visit: acresofhopeonline.org