“In prison you dream about being free a lot. You wake up and think it seemed so vivid, but there are the bars. I still feel like I’m dreaming. It’s been [a year] and I think I’m gonna wake up and be back in prison. I still wake up thinking I’m in my jail cell…I came [to UGM] to spread the gospel ‘cause I saw so many people saying, ‘It’s too late. Life is over, it’s worthless. I’m done.’ That’s why I’m here, to say, ‘God worked in my life.’ And I tell my story, people go, ‘Really?’ And their eyes light up, ‘So there’s hope for me, too?’ I say, ‘Yeah there’s hope for you, too.’” – Ron James, volunteer Read Ron’s full story here.
“After 12 years of being in Spokane, I realized I didn’t know anything about the city or the community. Now, I am interested in learning more and giving myself back to the community…Everyone is benefitting from the community, so how much better would it be if we all got involved?” – Dycelia Weiss, Weiss Financial Consulting
“I wanted the job because I wanted to give back and to say thanks for what was done for me, for putting me on a path and showing me that I am worth something…This job is all about coming alongside a man and telling him, ‘Everything’s gonna be OK. You’re doing a great job here today’ and putting a little light on his life for a minute.” – Derek Mobley, UGM Men’s Shelter Kitchen Supervisor
“Nature helps me to remember the simple things, while trying to find peace amidst life’s chaos. It gives me a better perspective on Christ’s heart and it helps me to seek His face.
“I daydream about what I could do, and who I could be in order to help those around me. I dream about being a mother and raising my children… Loving on them, praying for them and helping them to understand every day the deep love that Jesus has for them.” – Abigail, Spokane
Photo by Clare Pursch
“Most of us, including myself, have negativity mastered. Have you noticed that there are no books titled, ‘How to Be Negative’? Trust me, I could take the easy way out and share negative posts on social media. I have to remind myself constantly to be positive. That’s one of the main reasons I share positive thoughts on social media. I’m usually preaching to myself.” – Mike Ellis, Social Media Strategist, Spokane
“Spokane’s in a position where a young entrepreneur like myself, who has a lot of energy and passion and ideas, can embed himself in a community that will support him and his ideas and it’s allowed me to start a small little coffee business that’s grown into two little coffee businesses and really into a movement of people who are passionate about great coffee but also great community and giving back to the community and being connected to the community. To me, that’s why I love coffee and coffee shops because it’s a place where people rub shoulders and bump into each other and engage each other in community and relationship. It has been fun to have a little coffee shop business in a neighborhood that I live in because I’m able to serve my neighbors literally every day through my business. So that’s a lot of fun. Spokane’s a great place to live, work and play. ” – Bobby Enslow, owner, Indaba Coffee
“Working in a coffee shop always keeps me on my toes. I like the exciting, entertaining and eclectic people who come in that I get to meet every day.” – Mackie, Boots Bakery & Lounge, Spokane
“Trustworthy relationships are so crucial to success, and to have trust, you have to tell the truth! I love working for an organization that is all about trust, ethics and transparency.” – Chelsea Maguire, Better Business Bureau Northwest Development Director
“I’m amazed every day by what God’s doing. He’s healing me, and because I’m getting better, my son is getting better.” – Starla, graduate of Union Gospel Mission’s LIFE Recovery in Coeur d’Alene