The OCP Blog
Stories of Restoration and Hope from 2018
Below are some examples of the community members we have worked with this year. I think you can see OCP’s impact is real, long-term, and deeply appreciated by those in our community who struggle with poverty, recovery, homelessness, and the demons of personal trauma. Your gifts provide hope, a kind word that helps someone make it through another day, transportation to a job, an apartment finally found!
Blessings to you this season of promise and hope,
Sam, Eric, Randi, Annie, & Leons
For years, Marvin was a busy volunteer at OCP. About a year ago, multiple physical conditions began to become serious and disabling. His mental condition also deteriorated and caused him to be unable to care for himself. He has no local family to help him. When Marvin was about to lose his public housing apartment due to his inability to clean it, Annie and other volunteers showed up and cleaned it top to bottom. When his legs became so swollen that he could no longer walk, Annie arranged for volunteers to take him to Martinsburg, WV for regular leg-wound care at the Veterans Hospital. Now, 6 months later, Marvin is back participating almost daily at OCP and seems to be his old self again.
David came to OCP a year ago after being released from prison. He realized that returning home to NC would make him vulnerable to leading the same life of crime that he once led. He decided to try to stabilize his life by staying in Harrisonburg. David came to OCP for a meal but quickly became involved by volunteering on Workdays and OCP’s Friday Lunch Restaurant. We are proud of David’s dedication to improving his life, showing mindfulness and balance. He now works two jobs and recently moved into an apartment. One community member said of David “his love for helping and caring for others is his drive; it fuels him to be a better person financially, spiritually, and emotionally.” Leons befriended and supported David over many months: “We build a bond with our community members and hope to share their hardship and traumatic experiences just as much as we celebrate their success.”
Mason came to OCP 18 months ago when he became homeless after a series of job, marital, and substance use struggles. He is extremely intelligent and has been a source of humor, anecdotes, and fascinating history lessons for all of us at OCP. With loving support from OCP, Mason began to work and has been clean for over a year. When a local church partnered with OCP to offer a transitional housing apartment for up to 3 months, Mason was our first choice to take advantage of such a wonderful opportunity. With some case management support from Sam, Mason was able to find a low-cost apartment and save enough to move in. But Mason keeps coming to OCP every week: “OCP is my community now. This is where I want to be.”
John has been coming to OCP for a long time. He has struggled with severe alcoholism and homelessness, resulting in long-term damage to his body and mental health. Early this year he turned 62. Annie took him to the social security office to apply for early retirement. He was elated when his benefits came through. Recently, a low-income family near OCP offered to provide John with room and board in exchange for a monthly payment. We reviewed the situation and check in periodically to ensure that he is not being taken advantage of. The last time he came in he was sober, jovial, and very satisfied with his living situation. We are so thankful for him, but we will continue to keep an eye on him due to his vulnerabilities.