When Christopher arrived at ANEW Place in March, he had spent the better part of a decade hopping trains, hitchhiking, and battling alcoholism. This lifestyle allowed him to live free of responsibilities where he could “enjoy” his addiction. After seeing many of his friends spiral and some even die, he realized that wasn't what he wanted for his life. Over these past few months Christopher has maintained his sobriety (the longest period in over 10 years!), began seeing a therapist to work through issues from his past, and started a job at Five Guys where he is now a shift manager.
A highlight of these past few months has been seeing Christopher reconnect with his family. His mom traveled to visit him and saw firsthand how her son is now in a place of stability, successfully maintaining sobriety, and taking concrete steps as he charts a path forward. For the first time in years he even treated her to dinner.
Just a few weeks ago Christopher entered our ANEW Leaf transitional housing program and is on track to move into his own place this winter. As Christopher continues moving forward and reconnects with his faith, he is beginning to dream of ministering to the homeless himself. We're betting this dream becomes reality and we're so honored to be part of his story!
Meet Brian Hofmann our ANEW Step Case Manager and hear his inspiring story. Years ago Brian experienced freedom from addiction and now works with ANEW’s guests to chart a path forward and write new chapters in each of their stories.
Every day our staff team sees significant "wins" as we work with our guests to chart a path forward. Over the last several weeks we took a close look at what's happened over the past year and wanted to share some of the stories and statistics with you. Whether you give financial support, share a meal with our guests, volunteer during a work day, or pray for our organization, you are helping create a path forward for our homeless neighbors. Your investment matters. We hope you find these reports as encouraging as we did.
Dear Friends and Partners,
It’s impossible for me to walk through the Christmas season without reflecting on the roots of ANEW Place. As some of you may know, in 1982 a group of community members from local area churches had the idea of forming what was then Burlington Emergency Shelter because they believed God cared deeply about those on the fringe of our community who felt forgotten. I often tell our prospective guests how that faith still serves as a foundation for why we serve but it’s not a filter for who we serve: we believe every person matters period.
As I was recently reading the Christmas narrative from the Bible, I came across the familiar story found in Luke 2 of the shepherds being visited by a host of angels and was reminded how closely this parallels our calling at ANEW Place:
This is powerful common ground: shared desires, shared joys, shared brokenness, and a shared experience of grace. While standing on012-feet-in-the-sand this common ground I see friendships forged, chains broken, stories altered, and quite often the miraculous occurs
Often in these moments God shows up and reminds me ANEW is a place where people discover their story is not over. This is true for our guests, true for our volunteers, true for our staff, and true for me. My hope and prayer for all our partners is that as you partner with ANEW, get to know our guests, and experience this hallowed common ground- that you will see your own story with fresh eyes.
Thank you for your partnership.