You guys have helped us through another winter. Thanks so much. The number of donations have been staggering-- blankets, socks, hand warmers, sleeping bags, hygiene items, clothing, food and so much more. You folks have helped our folks survive another winter, and because of that this is the first winter without any serious injuries to our homeless population. Many people this winter got off the street permanently, as well. This has been a good winter, over all.
However, our financial help has dropped from last winter, and this is a problem. Because we have a center in Gresham now, which is a place for the homeless and many others to have a spiritual home, a place of peace and a warm place out of the cold. But it is expensive.
And I wonder why the finances have dropped. Some people, I know, have got other obligations, or have lost jobs or are going through hard times. We understand. We go through hard times, too.
But I wonder if people think that we don't need the money as much as we used to. I just want to tell you, that isn't the case.
Let me give you a few facts:
Anawim has six staff people who volunteer their time. Most of them have no salary coming in, and Anawim only gives financial help to one of them. That one only receives about six thousand dollars a year for his and his family's expenses. But we have staff that are going to lose their housing unless they get some income soon. Beside our full and part time staff, we also have a group of more than a dozen volunteers who help us out one day a week or one day a month to help our broader community.
That staff provides food for 400 people a month. They provide clothing for a hundred people a week. They provide pastoral counselling for hundreds. They give the word of God. They also send people to resources to help them in their need. They give the homeless work, both paid and volunteer. They create a place of peace for those who have no peace. They work hundreds of hours a week, mostly without pay.
Last year, we received approximately $25,000 total. That's right. For the amount of money that a single family would be considered to be in poverty, we have been able to help hundreds of the poor and we've got a regular staff that keeps us going. I am amazed at the sacrifice and commitment of our people.
About half of that was given to rent for one property. We spent another few thousand on another property, which we had to close. Another few thousand went for food, to supplement the donations we received to feed those who come to us. And the rest paid for our community house, and the salary for one staff person. If you think about it, we make our money stretch pretty far. We use everything we have to benefit others.
But we really need help, here.
Sure, we could use some more donations. No question about that. If anyone wants to help, we would sure appreciate it. You can see that with such a low budget, every little bit that others can give really helps. Maybe you are just looking because you appreciated what we post on Facebook or the blogs. If you have been blessed, perhaps you can help us with just a little. You can find out how to donate to us on our Support page, found here.
But we also really need some people to help us raise funds. We've done fundraisers and sent letters and we discovered something: we aren't very good at it. We write a mean newsletter, and produce a lot of hits on our blogs, but they don't bring in the finances we need to pay our rent, or to give our staff even a minimal amount of support.
If you could help us raise funds or know of someone who might be able to, please help us out. We are open to wise counsel in the way of Jesus. And we could use some help.
Finally, but not of least importance, please pray for us. Pray for our finances. Pray for our mental health-- really. Pray that we would be able to overcome the obstacles we face, not only to help the homeless but to transform our broader community to be a place where the poor and not-so-poor help each other to help themselves. To be a piece of the kingdom of God, growing right here in the Northwest.