Category Archives: Real Stories

Getting Ready to Work

The New Life Program’s hands-on workforce development training prepares men to be job-ready, setting them up for success at work and in life.

The Mission’s New Life Program is designed to equip any man who enters it with everything he needs to exit the cycle of homelessness and addiction and to flourish as a self-supporting, integral member of his community. A key aspect of that flourishing is finding meaningful employment that leads to a rewarding career, not just a job.
In addition to the provision of basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, access to medical care, etc.) and all of the classroom instruction, counseling, and spiritual care that participants in the Mission’s New Life Program receive, each man has the opportunity to put that instruction into practice. By participating in our hands-on workforce development program, men have the chance to fine-tune old skills and develop new ones as they prepare to launch their job search and secure gainful employment as a vital step toward regaining independence.

“Being a part of the Mission’s work program is helping me build my resume. I’m also learning how to stay focused. It’s also helping me become more comfortable interacting with and opening up to new people.” ~Chris
“The work program is helping me restructure my foundation. It’s giving me a sense of responsibility, helping with my time management, and developing leadership skills. It’s also helping me fill certain gaps on my resume.” ~ DJ
“The work program helps me in several ways. It helps me to be able to deal with people. It also helps me practice using my integrity to do the right thing and follow the rules. I’m also learning how to take advice and how to give it to others.” ~ James
We also outfit men with everything they need to dress for success! Here James and Darius pose with brand-new ties they won in a fun game in our Professional & Vocational Development Class.
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Stronger Together

Dave and Steve

None of us can thrive alone. We were made for relationships. We were created to use our God-given gifts to build one another up. It’s not a one-way thing. We need the help and support of each other.

That’s something Dave and his counselor, Steve, live out in daily life here at the Mission. Steve and Dave have walked together through Dave’s surgery, some unexpected complications, and his convalescence back in our dorms at the Mission. They’ve also walked through grief as violence and loss have deeply touched Dave and his family.

Yet through it all, even while struggling with ongoing significant health issues and a bit of a wait before he’ll be able to move into his own place, Dave is intentional in his service to others. He takes God’s call to love his neighbors seriously. He takes younger men under his wing to show them the ropes. He uses his musical gifts to bless people. He steps up to lead meetings. He testifies about what God’s doing in his life to encourage others. He also escorts men struggling after a relapse to appointments so they don’t stray and fall away.

This is what community looks like. We are definitely stronger together.

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A computer is a gateway to many things.

That’s why we keep our computer lab at the Mission open, staffed, and up-to-date! From crafting job-winning resumes, filling out online applications, and tracking down bus routes to get to the job interview, to printing out pay stubs, managing a budget, and apartment hunting, our computer lab is key to the success of our residents.

But an open lab, functioning PCs, a color laser printer, good paper, and reliable internet access alone are not enough – men need to know HOW to use a computer to access these resources. That’s where our teachers and volunteer tutors come in.

Our lab is open and staffed by actual teachers:

Monday: 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM
Tuesday: 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM
Wednesday: 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM
Thursday: 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM
Friday: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM

The computer lab is also open for self-directed use Friday evenings until 9:00 PM and Saturday mornings from 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM.

Every incoming resident starts with a 4-week hands-on Introduction to Computers class. We also offer individualized tutoring and more advanced classes and coaching as needed.

Quotes from Residents

Jason’s class was amazing. I was able to learn how to fill out my resume the proper way and to use different programs like MS Word and Excel.

Because of the lab, I learned the basics of using Excel. Also, in tutoring fellow residents, I’ve been relearning how to navigate through the internet as I assist other men in their quest to find employment or an apartment. The computer lab has been a place of mental healing for me.

Our computer ab is home to 10 student work stations
Learning Program Director Jason Dexter works with James to craft a resume.
Volunteer Steffen works with Ray to apply online for jobs.
Roy works on a project in an Excel spreadsheet
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Christmas Party 2022

We had a delightful time celebrating the birth of Jesus, our Emmanuel – God with us! Here are some photos of the festivities for you to enjoy!

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Christmas Toy Giveaway ~ 2022

This Christmas, we were privileged to help dads and granddads provide amazing gifts to their kids and grandkids for Christmas. The toys are gifts from the dads, not from us. It’s a way for men to bless their kids and strengthen their relationships. At the end of the day, the Lord blessed us to be able to provide over 1,680 toys and gifts for 375 children! A great big thank you to all who donated toys and those who volunteered to make it happen!

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Summer Highlights

We received a special grant to buy planters and flowers to beautify the Mission’s front entrance. This is where New Life Program residents hang out to get fresh air. It’s also where men coming in off of the street enter the building to begin their journey in the New Life Program.

As one resident said, the flowers give a sense of hope and cheer – like a message from the Lord that you’ve come to the right place. Bob Emberger clearly had fun selecting and planting all of the flowers.

Great Faith Vision came to the Mission and blessed us with complete eye exams and health screenings for 28 of our residents, almost all of whom ended up needing and receiving prescription eye glasses!

Poor eyesight is such a hindrance to employment and independent living. When we send an uninsured gentleman in desperate need of eye care to a local vision center, it costs us around $180 for the exam and glasses. We can’t afford to do that for everyone.

But Great Faith Vision treated 28 men for free! Everyone around the Mission is seeing things much more clearly now!

A friend of the Mission won a new bicycle but didn’t need it, so she gifted it to one of our residents. It was the perfect thing for Ezra. He’s still in therapy after a knee replacement and could use the help getting around. He went to the bike shop to pick up this amazing bike, custom fitted to him!

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Meet Will

Tastykakes aren’t the only reason Will has many friends at the Mission, but it sure doesn’t hurt when he brings them home from work to share with the Mission family!

After completing the Foundations Phase of the Mission’s New Life Program, Will got a job at Tastykake where he continues to thrive. He has good benefits and has just been approved for full-time permanent work. But that’s not his end goal. He’s striving for more. He wants to build this job into a career, save up money, find a good apartment, and get more involved in his home church. He wants to keep growing.

If you ask Will what he’s learning these days, he’ll tell you God is teaching him to slow down and not move too fast. He’s learning that God is the One who blesses his efforts, and that walking with Him and taking the time to do things the right way always pays off.

It’s like the laws of the harvest we often talk about at the Mission. We reap WHAT we sow, we reap MORE than we sow, and we reap LATER than we sow. Will is working on planting seeds of faithfulness, and he’s waiting patiently. Now he’s starting to enjoy a harvest of good things. He’s praying more, trying to listen more than he speaks, and choosing to humble himself before the Lord and trust in Him and His timing.

Will takes to heart and lives out the Bible verse that says “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).

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Meet Michael

If you’ve dropped off food at the Mission’s kitchen door recently, you might have been greeted with a burst of joy from Michael, our new Hospitality Supervisor. He loves sharing God’s love through good food and warm smiles.

But Michael wasn’t always joyful. At 13, he lost both of his grandparents in one week. He was devastated. His uncle reached out and took him to church where he found comfort, joy and peace in Jesus and through fellowship with people. Things were better for a season.

But over time, depression and anxiety set in and Michael found himself drifting in and out of dark places. In March of 2020, his father passed away suddenly and Michael sank into a deep depression. He withdrew from life.

After losing his car, his apartment, and ultimately, any strong desire to live, Michael came to the Mission in December of 2021 and joined the New Life Program.

Chapel, Bible studies, and our Overcomers drug and alcohol recovery support groups are Michael’s favorite parts of the program. After rededicating his life to following Jesus, Michael says his joy has been restored. His coworkers and fellow residents concur.

He’s found a new church home that he loves, and a new outlook on life. If you were to pick a word to describe Michael, it would without a doubt be “joy.”

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Congrats Grads!

“Run Hah-Dah!”

That’s “run harder!” with the Brooklyn accent of Bob Emberger’s cross-country coach, Phil Golden, from Lincoln High School in the 1970s. It’s also the charge we share with men as they graduate from the New Life Program, based on Hebrews 12:1-2.

Coach Golden would tell his runners to keep looking at him. Don’t look to the right or to the left. Don’t look behind you. Just look straight ahead, and run harder!

Running the race of life is similar. In the battle to overcome addictions and navigate life’s obstacles, we need to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. Don’t get distracted by what other people are doing. Just keep running with your eyes on Jesus who delights in responding with “well done!”

Recently, we had the joy of celebrating the graduations of Ed, Mark, Lamont, and Ray. Each one’s life is a testimony of perseverance as they worked through obstacles and pressed on toward the goal. And they’re still running the race today!

May we all, by God’s grace, keep our eyes on the Lord and “run hah-dah!”

Ray at his graduation with Executive Director Heather Rice and Director of Advancement Bob Emberger.

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A Christmas Thank You Note

New Life Program resident Michael shares this thank you note with our Mission family and friends for all of the wonderful gifts we received this Christmas!

Dear Friends,

We here at the Whosoever Gospel Mission are still overwhelmed with gratitude for how blessed our Christmas was. With everything we have faced all year long, it felt amazing to be acknowledged and appreciated. Because of you, we were able to put smiles on our little ones’ faces. And there were even gifts for us!

We can’t stop thinking about how the Mission presented us with these wonderful gifts. We were spoiled. The setup was beautiful, and our whole day was festive. There was a beautiful layout of food along with the gifts. We will never forget this.

You all reminded us that we matter in not only God’s eyes, but also in the eyes of others. To everyone who contributed to making our Christmas special, you gave us an extra push to continue on this path of victory, triumph and happiness. From the bottom of our joyous hearts, thank you!


Gifts for the Men of the New Life Program

Each resident received more than a dozen personal gifts on Christmas Eve. We even had extra gifts to give to the new men who continue to come in after the holiday.

Toys for Men’s Children

This year, 42 residents and grads selected and wrapped about 1,000 gifts for 163 of their children and grandchildren. Gifts included toys, puzzles, books, stocking stuffers, stuffed animals, hats, gloves, & scarves. Continue to pray that the Lord would bless our men and their children and families! We were also able to bless some other local children with gifts for a total of 329 kids!

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