Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
JANUARY 2022 NEWSLETTER
2021 was a year of many challenges for TRM, our community, our nation and our world. The pandemic continued to cause incredible suffering and hardship to families and communities, affecting all of us while disproportionately affecting those already in need. While we watched the world make progress in the fight against Covid and eventually some of our worries lessened, other worries were brought to the forefront with increasing prices, supply shortages, and deepening insecurities all around us.
But through it all, 2021 also brought many exciting opportunities to TRM and those we serve. TRM’s Operation Food Secure, which ran from May 2020 to August 2021 to address pandemic-related food insecurity in our community, joined forces with local churches, tribes, neighborhood associations, nonprofits and community organizations to distribute over 3 million meals to Topeka and the surrounding areas, making an impact that continues to this day. We watched with joy as multiple organizations, donors and volunteers learned the profound power of meeting a basic need in the life of someone who feels forgotten, and learned how simple kindness and compassion can transform the life of someone who feels alone.
Following in the footsteps of OFS, we began the Mobile Access Partnership (MAP) program, partnering with Valeo, Stormont Vail, Shawnee County Health Department and the Topeka Police Department to bring showers, food, clothing and medical care to the unsheltered homeless in Topeka. Through the generosity of our partners, donors and volunteers we have been able to meet unsheltered individuals right where they are and provide services many of them have been without for years. We continue to see the daily impact of these services in the lives of the unsheltered in our community, and in the lives of the staff and volunteers who help us serve them. Additionally, we began having new and productive conversations about the issue of the unsheltered homeless in our community, the unique obstacles they face, and what we as a community can do to help. While these conversations continue to take place, we are encouraged by the opportunities to create positive and significant changes in the lives of the unsheltered going forward.
While the pandemic required TRM to make difficult decisions regarding limits on shelter capacity, it also gave birth to create new and innovative solutions to find shelter. One of these new initiatives was the TRM Rapid Rehousing program. Our goal of moving 80 households out of homelessness in 2021 was successfully met with only one individual unable to maintain their new housing. A large part of the success of this program was credited to the aftercare case management follow up as formerly homeless individuals transitioned into their new life out of homelessness.
Now as the calendar has moved forward to 2022, we ask ourselves “What’s next?” What will the new year bring? How can we rise to meet the challenges of the increasing needs and uncertainties in our community and in those we serve?
It appears we will continue to face the effects and uncertainties of the pandemic. We will continue to embrace those experiencing grief, loss and hardship and see some of our loved ones suffering too.
As the issues surrounding homelessness, hunger and poverty appear to worsen in our nation and the world, and as the pandemic continues to cast doubt, we understand many of you may be struggling as well. Whether you are struggling with financial, family or health challenges, personal loss, or any of the myriad of hardships that continue to affect many in our community, we are truly humbled that you are still here with us, standing in the gap for those who desperately need you. No one has been spared from the effects of this pandemic, yet you remain standing beside us, still seeing those in need and looking for ways to help. Because of this, you make more of a difference than you can even know. We identify with your struggle and thank God for your perseverance in continuing to help those we serve!
What will TRM Ministries look like in this new year? Truly only God knows, but as you stand with us in prayer, support and volunteering as you are able, we will provide shelter for the many homeless men, women and children who have nowhere else to turn; serve hot nutritious meals and provide food baskets to the hungry; locate and reach out to the unsheltered, where ever they may be; educate, equip and rapidly rehouse as many as we possibly can. We will continue to engage our community around crucial conversations about the growing number of people in need throughout our community and offer strategic solutions to help. Above all, TRM will strive to go into the darkest places in our community with the good news of God’s love, believing for the masses, but stopping for the one in front of us! Thank you for joining us in this new year of 2022!