The Wheeler House has reached a huge milestone. Since opening in 2015, 100 moms and kids have been served through The Wheeler House! This would not have been possible without YOU. Because of your donations, gifts, volunteer hours and support The Wheeler House is a safe place for moms and their kids who have fallen on hard times.
There are just some people in life that amaze you. The people who are given nothing and are thankful for everything. The people who care for their families so selflessly without much concern for themselves. The ones who keep fighting even when life seems to be against them. One of the moms who moved out of The Wheeler House this last month is one of those people for us.
Giving Hope, Inc. works primarily with the families at The Wheeler House. We help run the facility and occasionally get the joy of interacting with the families. When this family moved to Texas, they had little to nothing. The truck that they had was repossessed because they were late on their payment due to lack of resources. Not only was their vehicle taken from them, but the Christmas gifts they had been given were in the back of the car.
As you can imagine, this was devastating to this family.
They moved here hoping for a fresh start and new opportunities. They eventually found that here in North Texas. During their stay at The Wheeler House, Giving Hope, Inc. worked with the mom to help her find a job, childcare and other necessary resources the family needed. This family found hope, understanding and love from these staff members at Giving Hope, Inc. After staying at The Wheeler House for six months, they were able to move into a place of their own. They rejoiced as they sat around their first dining room table to have a meal.
There was still one major barrier for this family – their lack of transportation. To take her kids to childcare, to go to work, to get groceries, this mom had to take all of her kids with her on a bus or walk if it was close enough. She did this without complaining, doing whatever she needed to do to take care of her family.
This last week, one of our donors contacted us to let us know they wanted to donate their car to us. This was perfect timing. We knew right away where that car was meant to go. On Saturday, July 23, the Serve Denton staff pulled the car up to the family’s home. She thought we were coming over to bring her some paperwork, little did she know what was waiting for her!
As she walked outside, she tried to figure out what was happening. Right when she turned the corner, she saw the black car by the curb, and she burst into tears! It was one of those times where the world seemed to be right, even just for a moment. She cried as she sat in the driver’s seat, leaning her head against the wheel and thanking God for this gift.
She said the first trip her family was going to make was to church the next morning.
A Way of Life Changed
This family’s way of life will change because of the generosity of one person, who gave to Serve Denton, and allowed us the blessing of giving this gift to a family in need.
This helps lighten the load for Giving Hope Inc. because they had been having to help with a lot of transportation during these past months when a bus route wasn’t an option. This allows them to be freed up to help other clients.
This was the fruit of collaboration between agencies and the generosity of the Denton community.
Serve Denton is partnering with CrossFit Denton to bring a different type of fundraiser to the table. Instead of the infamous 5K, we are holding a CrossFit competition called Fit 2 Serve to support The Wheeler House, a transitional housing facility for moms and children! There is still time to sign up for the competition on Saturday, May 7. You will compete in teams of three (any gender combination) in one of the three categories: RX, Scaled or Battle of the Schools.
Learn more about the competition on the podcast with CrossFit Denton owners John and Kalah Thompson!
[button url="http://www.crossfitdenton.com/#!competition/c6p0" color="color" customcolor=""_top" custom_class="" ]Sign Up for Fit 2 Serve[/button]
On Saturday, January 16, Serve Denton, the City of Denton and Target partnered together to host MLK Service Day in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. This day was full of community and progress for the City of Denton. Volunteers from around Denton County built bleachers for Fred Moore Park at the Civic Center and renovated nearly every room at The Wheeler House, a transitional home for moms and children in a housing crisis. There were over 100 volunteers who helped make MLK Service Day a reality.
These projects were all made possible because of an $8,000 grant from Target. The grant money also went toward purchasing a smoker for Fred Moore Park and an insulated screen for Denton City County Day School. Target sent a handful of their employees to volunteer, and because of MLK Service Day, Target reached its one million annual volunteer hours goal.
At The Wheeler House, the family room was given a full makeover to create a homier space for the moms and children staying there. The hallway, foyer, office, and kitchen were given a fresh coat of paint, and some rooms were given chair rails to protect the walls.
This past Christmas, two of the four moms staying at The Wheeler House moved out into permanent housing. This was the goal for Giving Hope INC., the organization that manages the housing portion of The Wheeler House. The Wheeler House provides transitional housing for single moms and their children in a housing crisis. The first mom to move out of The Wheeler House transitioned out in late October. Many of the moms now live in the same apartment complex, which gives them a sense of safety and support. Jamie Gutierrez, one of the moms who recently moved out of The Wheeler House with her three children said it felt like a family the first week everyone moved into The Wheeler House.
Jamie Gutierrez never had to spend a day on the streets because of The Wheeler House, which is one of the reasons she said, “For anyone that doesn't believe that God always finds a way! I lost all hope until I found the Wheeler House! Thank you Giving Hope and Serve Denton."
With the continued help from Giving Hope and our faithful Denton community, these moms will have a support system for the rest of their lives. For more information about The Wheeler House, please contact Serve Denton Executive Director Pat Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or Giving Hope, INC. Executive Director Dr. Alonzo Peterson GH CD at email@example.com.
Last month, Health Services of North Texas, one of our tenants at The Wheeler House, received something from a recurring patient named Jan: a four-page letter bursting with praise. Not only was Jan able to afford her clinic visit, but she was also treated with the utmost respect, never once being looked down upon. Shame was never in the equation. This treatment was the reason Jan returned in a time of panic.
Jan wrote to HSNT, “I have been a ‘sliding scale’ patient at your Denton facilities for almost 2 years. First of all, there has never been an occasion where I left there feeling anything but gratified, valued, properly diagnosed and helped...every single encounter with staff from front to back...has been handled with grace, empathy, professionalism and efficiency.”
Recently, Jan became concerned she may be catching a dangerous condition – pneumonia. After trying to convince herself she could treat her symptoms on her own, she decided to call HSNT.
“Because of the respectful way I had been received by your staff, I felt I could trust them to either tell me I was already doing the right thing and go home… or they would genuinely CARE for me. The fact that your program only [cost] $20 for a visit, the decision to get proper medical care was simple,” Jan said.
She called late that afternoon. HSNT found a way for a provider to see her the next day.
Speaking about her visit, she said, “She (the doctor) listened to me describe the symptoms and changes I had been experiencing. She thoughtfully advised me of every step she felt appropriate and necessary and what it would cost as we went along. They efficiently and quickly got me the care I needed. She advocated for a bold approach for my treatment, and I am in AWE of that clinic’s professionalism on every level.”
At the end of the visit, she didn’t have to be surprised by how much her appointment would cost. The doctor informed her along the way. She was charged $66. After hearing this final number, she wrote, “Can you imagine what a relief that was for me?!?! Do you realize how many people (like me) have NEVER had the luxury of feeling like they may be able to afford to seek professional medical care when their bodies are clearly telling them they need help?”
In her finishing lines of the letter, she included, “I know that you and everyone at Health Service of North Texas must have worked very hard to put such a wonderful program together. It could only take dedication, empathy, compassion and tremendous commitment to quality of care for every single person that comes to your door on a daily basis; no matter their insurance (or lack of), or income or ethnicity or social standing. I applaud you all. I want you to know that today; I’m pretty sure your hard work, ALL OF YOU – most certainly saved my life. I am humbled and eternally grateful.”
Her words are a testament to how much grace and professionalism HSNT brings to the medical care profession in our city. Thank you for partnering with Serve Denton. You are making Denton a healthier place!
For more information about Health Services of North Texas, email their Community Outreach & Volunteer Program Director, Teri Johnson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.