The work has been somewhat under the radar – more under the radar, I am sure, than what Linda would have wanted. But she has been surrounded by a host of faithful and imaginative visionaries in our community who saw the need and gave birth to the dream which is about to become a reality before our very eyes.
The Hope Station Westview House! This shelter for families will open in early September and will house homeless families – that is, combinations of single parents and their children, husbands and wives and their children. It has been the missing resource in Wilson. Hope Station, of course, has a shelter for single men and there is a facility in town for men struggling with addictions. Wesley Shelter is a marvelous shelter for women and children, though its priority of serving victims of domestic violence sadly keeps it at capacity most of the time. There has not been a place in Wilson where families could stay together until now.
I will tell you the story of how Westview House has come into existence – as with most stories like this, it is a story about money. It began with a gift from Westview Christian Church. As the members moved through the steps of completing the visible ministry of our sister congregation, they were determined to ensure the legacy of Westview’s witness. They met with Hope Station leadership which resulted in a seed gift of $150,000. Under similar circumstances, Covenant Presbyterian Church added a legacy gift, and several corporate partners have stepped forward to contribute. The HS Board launched a $450,000 campaign to fund the rest, after making their own commitments.
And yes, it is a story about money, but it is even more a story about people which at its core is very much a story about “our” people. Carol and Don Steffa, Janet Robbins, Fran and Jim Roberson, Ida Altayar, Curtis and Sue Ray, and Billy Forbes are among the former Westview members who have become part of First Christian, and we worship with these wonderful folks every week. A. J. Walston, Myra Powell, and Kathy Daughety have been part of this vision through their service on the HS Board. Bob Kendall gave his creativity and gift of words to design the “Turn the Tap” public campaign. Our CWF, the Disciples Class, and individual church members have written checks to the fund.
And so, the building has been coming to life. You may well have driven past it during the construction phase – it is at 310 Tarboro St, just up the street from the church. The location was selected for reasons that would take too long to detail, but conveniently, it backs up to Hope Station. The building renovation is pretty well done, and now the finishing touches are being checked off: beds and furniture, stocking towels and linens, clocks, landscaping, and so forth.
You can get the story beyond these words by checking the Hope Station website or by striking up a conversation with any of the aforementioned people who have kept an inside look at the project. And no, it is not too late to be a part of this good work beyond applause. Something approaching $100,000 is still in the process of being raised – you can make a three-year commitment of support. And, of course, a gift of any kind will help get Westview House across the finish line. Let me know and I will make sure you get a commitment card.
But that applause I mentioned. Well that is important also, and we are being given an opportunity to put our hands together on Sunday, August 18th at 2pm when Westview House will be officially dedicated. I hope you will join me that afternoon for a little celebration. I will be looking for you.
Blessings and Peace,
#hopestation #familyshelter #westviewhouse #ccdoc #ncdisciples #fccwilsonnc #compassion
These thoughts and reflections come from our Senior Minister, Minister of Music and Board Chair. We hope that they provide both challenge and inspiration for your spiritual life.