It's our 30th Anniversary at People Serving People this year. Of the thousands of families who changed their lives while staying at our shelter, we thought so share with you 30 stories of hope to represent our 30 years of service to those in need.
We asked the families to share about what gives them hope, (some photos may not represent the stories below).
I have fun at People Serving People's new 'Men's group'. Even though we don't say a lot, we do talk about being dads. But mostly we watch movies and play video games. It's a great way to feel good about being a dad.
While staying at People Serving People, I began looking for a retail sales clerk position. The interview was soon and I was ready except for one piece of clothing, my necktie. I had never tied one before. But we found a guy who did the job for me. Someone else told me I looked like I was going for the CEO position but that's ok, it never hurts to look good. Though my first interview didn't result in a job for me, the hiring manager did comment on how nice I looked. Truly, I have never even worn a tie before. I do make them look good though. And thankfully, I ended up getting a job after a few interviews around town.
Now I can help my kids have a better life because advocates from People Serving People helped me find everything I need. Especially the special help for both my kids with special needs.
At People Serving People, so many resources are right at my fingertips. I now have a job and after only four months an apartment!
I am grateful to all the supportive staff at People Serving People who helped me and my kids.
It has been six months since I left People Serving People to move to Park Rapids. My life and that of my children has changed forever. I have an apartment that is affordable. I have a full time job. One of my kids is in school and loves it. My daughter is in a terrific daycare. Life is great!
First an apartment for all of us, then my GED! I can do this!
People Serving People gave us hope. They helped us find and apartment and now my husband has a job. But the best is our therapist we were connected to while at the shelter. We would take the bus to see her while we were at the shelter, and we still take the bus to see her now that we've moved out. Now me and my husband actually talk to each other, and we know this help will make a big difference for us.
We felt blessed being able to stay in a clean and safe place, while we got to have a chance to get back on our feet.
I kept thinking, "I am gong to fail, I just know it!" I know I am a smart person, but I have fears of taking tests. I was sure I would not pass my upcoming test certification. An advocate helped me with ways to relax and reduce my anxiety. The advocate suggested I begin to say to myself, "ok I can do this!" and I go off to study. A week later I got into the advocates office and said "I passed!" Now I feel hopeful and I can begin with the next step for myself and my children's future.
I had never sent my child to a preschool before coming to People Serving People. When I heard it was free at the shelter, and they not only watched my little girl but she learned new things while I was gone, I was excited. The preschool staff and volunteers were great, friendly, kind and helpful.
My 3 year old daughter always hit everyone. Whenever she was mad, unhappy or frustrated she hit. I didn't know how to get her to stop. At People Serving People she could not do that. We both learned different ways for her to tell me and her teachers she was unhappy. Now school is better and she is talking all the time! I am so happy about what she has learned.
"I've had fun. I know I've made a lot of friendships that will last a lifetime.
When I first got to People Serving People, I was mad, mad, mad. I didn't want to be here, too many rules. I kept going to see the advocate person, don't really know why, maybe because they listen. Then I had an interesting revelation. What a person I had become! I figured out it was a lot of work to be so angry and it got me nowhere. These people were here to help me; my pride was getting in my own way. Now I have been looking for ways to go back to school and have interviewed for part time work until the school thing works. I am still trying to find the perfect apartment. I believe now it will all work, I just need to stay positive and keep trying. Everyone here is trying to help me.
At People Serving People's Halloween party, my kids got to dress up as what they wanted to be when they grew up! I never knew my 7 year old wanted to be a doctor. She is trying to learn everything she can and now loves school. Thank you for helping her with her dream.
My son never liked school and didn't like to leave me or his dad. He always wanted to see us and know what we are doing. When we were at People Serving People though, we had a lot of things we needed to do during the daytime to get our lives back on track. The preschool was something we needed to put our son in, and he wasn't happy about it. But, the preschool staff has helped him believe we were coming back for him at the end of the day. That made us all more comfortable coming and going, and now our son is enjoying the preschool program – and learning a lot!
My kids were selected to have a weekend away from the shelter at summer camp. They had great fun and came home ready to try new things! They loved being in the woods and running around.
We were at People Serving People for 6 months and it was a life changing experience. It was safe and we could eat 3 big meals a day. I could wash clothes and not have to try to do it in a sink somewhere. Now we are a family again, in our own place, I have a part time job and the kids are in school. Thank you for our future.
I learned I can do anything if I put my mind to it.
People Serving People is giving me hope. I am learning a lot from the job support staff and family advocates here, and I continue my job search every day at the shelter's computer lab.
People Serving People staff and volunteers have helped our family grow in every way possible. All of the things we were unsure of and stressed about, someone had a way of making them easier to deal with. Our family is stronger, believes more, and appreciates one another. We are so grateful.
My stay at People Serving People was a life-changing experience for my daughter and I.
I finished by nursing assistant classes because of the job support staff. I passed the test, which didn't surprise me because of how hard I studied, and now I have an apartment after searching every day.
I'm definitely on the right path! Thanks to People Serving People for giving me hope.
The Culinary Arts Training Program gave me my dream. I learned how to do so much. Now I have a job that really pays and I can help my family.
Because of People Serving People, I was able to get into a housing program where my girls will get help with their school work. This has been my dream. Because of my learning disability, I have never been able to help with their homework-I can sleep a little easier knowing that they will get help with things I cannot help them with.
As a volunteer working with kids who are staying at People Serving People, I see all of the typical kid struggles and quarrels. But one day I showed up, the kids in the Early Childhood room reaffirmed why I come to the shelter each week. "My turn, my turn!" were often spoken words in the Early Childhood room. But one day I heard, "Look how good me and Sarah are doing this game! We are going to win it!" So the kids showed me that they are learning and sharing - and it was a joy to see.
My children love to read and draw thanks to the preschool and tutoring at the shelter. Now I have a part time job and an apartment thanks to the job support and housing searches. Now on to the next step. I have signed up for GED classes and am excited to start! Thanks, People Serving People!
We felt so blessed being able to stay in a clean and safe place, while we got to have a chance to get back on our feet. The preschool staff was great and I loved watching them with my kids. Thank you People Serving People for giving us hope.
My child feels safe here. And I feel safe about our future. Thanks People Serving People, God bless.