One-on-One Art Show Fundraiser

As Executive Director for the PARC, I could not be more thrilled to share this amazing, God-given opportunity. Our Second Annual Art Show Fundraiser, One-on-One will take place on Saturday, November 12, 2016 downtown at the Derrick Event Center. This one-of-a-kind event will focus on the “art” of collaboration, conversation, and connection with others.

If you would like to Sponsor this event or donate, please go to the events page.

We have partnered with Cerulean Gallery and the Derrick Event Center to make it an unforgettable night. An original work of art from Denver Moore has been graciously donated by Cerulean Gallery and will be available during our Live Auction. Denver is co-author of the New York Times Best Seller, Same Kind of Different As Me. His enthralling story and raw art represents the power of inspiration and connection, which we at the PARC find vital in serving and supporting those who are experiencing homelessness in our own community. It is through connection, collaboration, and creativity that our volunteers and members help raise each other up and support growth and confidence in the hardest of situations.

When we make the conscious decision to collaborate One-on-One, we have the opportunity
to make an impact on the lives of so many individuals, including ourselves.

Come As You Are

the PARC is all about acceptance. Our purpose is to provide a place for those experiencing homelessness to come as they are and not be judged. We meet them where they are and encourage them to take steps towards their possibilities. What we have found, however, is that it is a place for ALL to come and find acceptance. Everyone fits in at the PARC, no matter who you are, your background or economic status. Our volunteers come from every generation and walk of life, and each one will tell you that they love it here! It truly is a place where anyone and everyone can come as they are, find connection. 

I want you to meet a few of our volunteers:

- Amelia is a college student who comes between her classes at A.C.

- Nan is retired school teacher and coach

- Samme is a stay-at-home mom

- Cori is a President of a local company and a Life Skills Coach

- Scott and Nikki are financial consultants

- Shari is a stay-at-home wife and mom

- Guylene is a retired school secretary

- Angela ministers to those who are in prison and the homeless by teaching classes on self-worth

- Nola is a tutor at Amarillo College

- Bailey is a college student that comes in between her classes

- Barbara is a stay-at-home wife and mom

- Deanna is a licensed counselor

- Mark is an outreach pastor at a one of the downtown churches

- Hayden is a high school student

- Alex is a college student, works part-time, and still finds time to come to the PARC

- Diane and Kathy are teachers that come at the end of their day to lead Bingo

- Michael works in landscaping

- Penny is a hairstylist

- Kaylynda works at a local print shop

- Steve works at Pantex

- Jimmy just retired from Pantex

These are only a few of the many volunteers that come and find their place at the PARC and there is a place for YOU! If you want to get involved, please call 806.367.8024, or just come by anytime we're here. Everyone is always welcome.

Step by Step

The impact we have at the PARC is not always easily seen, but as we continue our mission to show acceptance and value to the members that come we find that lives are changed and people find the confidence to move forward even when we are unaware. Billy had been coming to the PARC for just a few weeks. He was very quiet, but always found a project and attended the classes. We noticed that he had a very kind heart and always looked out for those with disabilities or had trouble 'navigating' the streets. He brought a lot of people with him when he came, but he was always very quiet. Some of our volunteers found it difficult to have conversation with him, but one of our volunteers persisted and found that once she got him talking she couldn't get him to stop. It was enough!

He came in the next day to tell us that he was going to start a recovery program and wouldn't be at the PARC for about a month. Through the 'conversation' he acknowledged he had a problem and needed to gain victory over that in order to move on so that he could get off the streets and live independently. After the first day of his recovery program we received a note from him that he sent through a friend. We had no idea of the impact we had on him.

Billy found himself at the PARC. He found acceptance and friendship. He found hope and direction. He found accountability. This is only the beginning of the story. At the PARC we strive to change our community one life at a time. Billy is only one of the people that is being changed; that is finding the confidence to do what is needed to get out of homelessness. 

Come by to see what we do at the PARC. Meet some of the members and the volunteers that are a part of our team. Join us through your time or donations. We would love to have you!!

 

Journey

We are all on a journey. Each of us has his own path full of turns, pitfalls and victories. There are mountains to climb, rivers to forge and valleys through which we must walk. For those that are homeless it often seems that the mountains are higher and the valleys are deeper. There are so many obstacles that they must face just in their daily life. Lack of transportation, instability of environment and even worrying about having a place to sleep every night often becomes overwhelming. the PARC provides a place to step out of the storm, find some peace and stability and to remember that deep within them lies the means to continue their journey. They have goals and dreams, but when the river seems too wide to cross it is easy to throw up their hands and forget that the possibilities are real. At the PARC we remind them of who they are and help them to realize the potential that lies within.  

Enrique is on his journey. He arrived in Amarillo from Colorado and after many disappointments and turns he found himself at the Salvation Army. When he first came to the PARC he knew that he didn't want to stay where he was and he was determined that he did not want to stay homeless. He found encouragement and heard of possible job leads each day when he came to the PARC. He would report to us how his interview went or what applications he had filled out. Enrique walked a lot of miles in his determination to find work. 

One afternoon as we were closing Enrique popped in with a huge smile on his face. He was bursting with excitement when he told us that he had just gotten a job and he wanted to thank us for helping him! He was going to be a cook at Youngblood's Restaurant. Tim and Vicki Youngblood have big hearts and believe in second chances. Many have found their way out of homelessness because of their kindness and generosity. Enrique has been diligent to show up on time and work hard when he is there. He makes great eggs and his pancakes are the best around!

His journey continues."The PARC encourages me to seek a better life and helps me to believe in myself." He still came to the PARC on his days off and as we talked through his struggles we felt like a transition from Salvation Army to Another Chance House would be a move in the right direction. It would give him the structure and accountability he needed to help him accomplish his goals. He continued to look for more work with higher pay and more hours.

His journey continues. Today Enrique starts orientation for a full time job with full benefits. He also has found a place to live and will be moving next week. It has been our honor and our joy to walk with Enrique through this part of his journey. We are proud of his determination and look forward to seeing where the next part of his journey takes him. 

Success!

Success is as diversified as the people who walk through our doors. It is defined in many different ways and on many different levels. Every person that walks into the PARC is treated as an individual and accepted in the place where they find themselves. Our passion is that each one find his value and be reminded that this may be where they are right now, but this is not where they have to stay. There are very real possibilities for them and we help them to find the confidence to move forward and take the necessary steps to break the cycle in which they have found themselves. The most simple concept is our most powerful. We see success happen quickly and on a daily basis because of relationship and providing opportunities for them to succeed. These relationships and opportunities happen directly through the volunteers. Some of them come weekly, and some come once a month. Some of them come and stay all day, and some stay for only an hour. But each one that comes becomes the reason our members find success.

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Our members will tell you that the volunteers are the nicest and best people in the world. "They are all so open, helpful and generous with their feelings, which we find are similar to our own. The volunteers are personable and don't look down on us. We feel loved." "I feel driven because they celebrate my victories with me. I don't feel that any subject is off limits so I can share anything with them," "There is always open communication between the volunteers and the members and they treat us as friends. They don't look down on us, they are accepting and interested in us. The ones who come share their knowledge with us and encourage us to do more than we thought could." In a population where you are often overlooked and seldom acknowledged, these relationships are life changing. 

The stories you hear from the volunteers will be much the same. "I love it here. I feel accepted and it brings me joy. I like the friendships I have made and I can't wait to get back to catch up with them. Coming to the PARC fills my heart. It is MY time and I know this is where I belong. I love the smiles and the support, and I am motivated  by their positive attitudes in the midst of their circumstances. I can see God working every time I come. I see Him working in the triumphs and the falls. Their genuineness and openness inspires me."

We often say that the PARC is a no-judgement zone. When you come here you will find love, acceptance, respect, and value. Yes, we strive to be sure our members experience those things, but what we find is that our volunteers find it as well. I can tell you from a personal point of view that working at the PARC is the first time in my life that I feel that I can be totally myself and it is the right thing to do. YOU can find your place at the PARC. I encourage you to come by and see what we do. I think it will surprise you. Or, give us a call and set up a time to visit and take a tour. Our hours are Tuesday - Friday, 8:00 - 4:30. By just being yourself you can make an impact and change the direction of someone's life. This is an opportunity you do not want to miss!!!

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1 Year Celebration

Just a week ago we celebrated 365 days of success. The PARC has been open for a year now, and its success is the lives transformed in the Amarillo homeless community. We thank everyone who made our open house a hit: planners, attendees, caterers, performers, cleanup crew, and every other person involved. We are blessed beyond measure to have a building where we can celebrate and minister.

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There are so many stories of success that happened inside our doors. Our members have proven to us what they're made of and what they know they're worth by getting education, jobs, cars, and, of course, HOMES! We are so proud of the homeless in Amarillo who have transformed their lives. We wanted nothing else.

Our mission here at the PARC has benefitted more than just our members, too. Our volunteers are constantly telling us they feel they are benefitting just as much as the members. Our volunteers bring such creativity and care to the PARC each day. From music lessons to self-help classes, cooking courses, art shows, and more—we couldn't have picked a better team of people if we tried. Even more important, our volunteers give love. They show love and speak love and pour out love to our members. Just a genuine conversation between a volunteer and a member is the catalyst that begins to break the cycle of homelessness.

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The people that come through our doors each day represent two things: power and purpose. Our volunteers who serve so selflessly week after week give us our power. Without them, we couldn't reach the homeless in the same way. Every volunteer that gives—be it their time, talents, money—brings one more stroke of power through our doors. The other half of our visitors who give us purpose are our members. Without our members, we wouldn't even be here. They are the ones God boldly called us to help. And through His power (our volunteers), God has been boldly transforming the members of the PARC for over a year now.

Thank you. Thank you to everyone who has shown up. To give, to receive. We couldn't have done it without you.

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Happy Anniversary!

One year ago the PARC opened its doors for the first time. We had a dream and a firm belief that people's heart, minds and lives could be changed with a simple concept. We believed that if we could meet those that are homeless right where they are and help them to truly be known that they would find their value and remember who they are. We believed if they could be given opportunities for success that their confidence would return and that they would find the courage to break the cycle of homelessness in which they have found themselves. In this past year so much success has been achieved on so many levels. 

 

As I think back it is the faces that pass before my mind and heart. I remember Rueben who got married here at the PARC and Willie who now drives a truck from Dallas to California. I  think about Jennifer who told me that she is a drug dealer, but sitting at the PARC doing the 'stupid projects' helped her to realize that she didn't have to do the same thing she has always done. The last time I saw her she was working in a warehouse. I think about C.J. and CeCe, Mark and Eric. I remember watching Chris find himself and his place through origami and the diligence of one of our volunteers. I saw Barbara fight for her sobriety by coming to the PARC to keep her mind busy and her spirit encouraged. 

In the past 12 months 128 people have registered and 53 of those became members. Of those 53 members, 35 of them have found jobs and / or places to live. That means that 66% are out of the shelter or off the street and receiving income. This is only ONE of our definitions of success. Success is also when they fall down and then pick themselves back up, shake themselves off, and determine that they will not give up or give in. They are fighters and they fight and we fight with them. We walk beside them and encourage them to keep moving forward. At the PARC a person never runs out of chances.

It has been an honor to get to know those that have come to the PARC. I  have made some wonderful friends in the members as well as the volunteers. We are looking forward to this next year and being here for those that will come and find their success. It is through the generosity of our donors and volunteers that those experiencing homelessness become aware of life's possibilities and break their cycle. Please join us as a volunteer or in giving financially. 

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Fighters Fight

Danny came to the PARC several weeks ago. He had just graduated from a drug rehab program and was staying at Salvation Army. He was struggling. We watched Danny fight. He set his goals and headed towards them with his eyes straight ahead. Danny was determined to stay sober, get a job and gain his independence. We watched him overcome obstacle after obstacle.

Danny doesn't have a car, but he has a bicycle. He would ride to the PARC in the mornings and then head out towards his required meetings and appointments. He would check in with us throughout the day. We would see him return so discouraged, but he continued to fight. As the days progressed, the friends he had graduated with began to relapse. Danny continued to fight. He attended a class here at the PARC where he was able to write a cover letter and resume. He took those with him as he looked for a job. He continued to fight.

Sometimes the obstacles he faced seemed too high, but he continued to fight. One morning Danny came in and told us that someone had cut the tires on his bike and stolen the tubes. He refused to let it deter him and continued to fight. He brought in a job application a few days ago and asked for some help filling it out. We encouraged him when he took in his application and then rejoiced with him when he came back to tell us he got the job!

This morning when I arrived at the PARC, Danny was across the street waiting on the bus to go to his first day of work!!! He was excited and nervous. I am so proud of him. Fighters fight.

I believe in Danny. He is a fighter, and I know that he will continue to head towards his goals. Fighters fight.

 

Stories, Stories, Stories

the PARC has been busy these summer months meeting and getting to know the many that have come through our doors. There have been so many wonderful 'success stories' to share of those who have found jobs and  places to live. We rejoice in those, but there are many days at the PARC when our stories don't seem to end in 'success'. 

Debbie is a favorite of all those who come to the PARC. She is witty and encouraging and loves her dog. You will never see her without a smile on her face. Her story, however, is a tragic one. 11 years ago she fell down some stairs and suffered some physical disabilities as well as a brain injury. She came back to Amarillo to be with her family and then her mother passed away. Her mother left the family home to Debbie and her sister, but her sister made Debbie leave so that she ended up in the Salvation Army. Her sister was the payee for Debbie's disability check and was using the money and not leaving any for Debbie. Many people came together to help her. She was able to gain control of her money and was on the waiting list for assisted living housing.

A couple of weeks ago Debbie's sister showed up at the PARC and wanted to take her back to her house. We were all concerned about the situation but Debbie wanted to go and see her dog. The next day her sister came back to the PARC to get Debbie for the second time. I visited with her for quite some time to be sure that this is what she wanted. She told me that all her sister wanted was her money, but it was worth it to see her dog. Debbie never came back. When we didn't hear from her for over a week, we became concerned. One of our volunteers knew where her sister lived and went to check on her. She brought Debbie back to the PARC while we went to check with Salvation Army to find out what Debbie's options would be. The Salvation Army said that there was a place for her there and that her housing was almost ready; however, if she moved back in with her sister she would lose her housing. When we came back and explained the situation, Debbied adamantly said that she did not want to go back to Salvation Army. We reluctantly took her back to her sister's house.

This is not the ending that we would have wanted for her, but it is what we do at the PARC. We do all we can to help those who come move to a better place, but we always realize that the choice is theirs. We will be here when they are ready to come back and pick up where they left off.

Next month, the PARC will be closed September 1 - 4 for a Membership Drive. Our members will use that time to invite people to the PARC. September 8 will be a time to welcome them back as well as the new ones who come with a big breakfast and a whole slate of new classes and projects. We would love to have as many volunteers as possible, so if you can help please call us at 806.367.8024. the PARC is changing the lives of those who walk through our doors one step at a time. They are becoming aware of the possibilities and gaining the confidence to move towards them. We would love for you to be a part.

Possibilities at the PARC

Brittany and I were having a conversation yesterday and she began to tell me about how much she loves the PARC and why she likes to come. I asked her to tell me more about her reasons and this is what she told me.

"the PARC is with me in my every day life. It gives me room to think. I can meditate while I'm working on my art. It has taught me to focus more in here so that when I go out there I have more discipline. I feel valued when I am here. It helps me to know that people actually care about me and my well being. My confidence has grown because of coming to the PARC; [it] has built my self esteem. The way the staff and volunteers compliment me on my artwork and what I am doing in life has given me confidence to do what I need to do. Coming to the PARC has helped to keep me clean and it will definitely influence my future and help me to help others."

Brittany lost her children a little over a year ago due to her addiction. She lived at the Haven for 4 months and then has been at the Salvation Army for the past 3 months. Since then she has completed ARAD, an addiction recovery program and found a job.  She is working so hard to be independent and self-supporting. She has completed all her work with CPS and is working diligently on her budget so that she can get an apartment and bring her children home. We are so proud of her and how committed she is to do all that is necessary to get her life back to the place that she can raise and support her children. Brittany is full of life and personality and makes an impact wherever she goes. I can't wait to see where life takes her. There is no limit to her possibilities!

Transitions

People come and go at the PARC every day. We don't ever know what to expect on a day to day basis or who might walk through our doors. The past several weeks we have seen a definite transition in the ones who are coming. As we looked at our members log and ran some numbers, we realized that 70% of the ones who have been coming to the PARC have gotten jobs and or found places to live. I would say that those are numbers worth celebrating.

Julie started coming to the PARC around February. In March she suffered a setback, relapsed, and began to try to pick herself back up. Julie began and completed ARAD, a rehabilitation program, and came back to the PARC. She used the time here to grow in her confidence and find herself again. She began to dream. We watched her as she began to look for jobs and fill out the applications. Everyone joined in to help make sure the words were spelled correctly. We all rejoiced with her when she got an interview, cheered for her when she went, and then celebrated with her when she returned with the good news that she would start on Friday!! I wish you could have seen the smile on her face. We are so proud of her and hopeful for her future. 

the PARC is in transition now as new members are coming in. We enjoy the new relationships that are being formed and continue to be amazed at the transformation that takes place as those who are experiencing homelessess find their value, remember their identity and become aware of life's possibilities. I hope you will join us as we help to break the cycle of homelessness in our community as the PARC offers relationship and gives opportunities for them to experience success. Volunteers are always needed to help with projects, lead classes and join in the conversation. Monetary donations are needed so that the PARC can continue to touch and change the lives of those who are often nameless in our community.

Celebrate!

The last few days at the PARC have been busy and full of life. Friday night, hundreds of people walked through our doors for our very first fundraiser. The PARC Art Show was such a beautiful presentation of our members' hard work and represented what the PARC stands for in such a glorious way.  The donors were able to meet the artists and hear about how their lives had been changed. We were honored by those who came and donated to the PARC so that we can continue to help those experiencing homelessness to break their cycle.

On Monday we had a wedding! Ruben and Maresa shared their vows in front of their PARC family. It was a  beautiful ceremony. Our volunteers provided a gorgeous table full of scrumptious food, fresh flowers and an incredible wedding cake. Royce Gooch, one of our volunteers and a pastor at Trinity Fellowship performed the ceremony. 

Ruben came to the PARC right after we opened. He describes himself as "a messed up bawl bag that didn't know up from down." After a short stay in jail he decided that he didn't like the man he was becoming and set out to make positive changes. He told us that the PARC helped him to break that cycle in which he had found himself. Ruben found a job and then found a place to live. We all celebrate with him!!! 

Lives are being changed every day at the PARC. We hope that you stop by and meet some of our members and experience what happens within our walls. Please consider giving financially, as well. Your investment will produce rewards that will affect generations to come.

the PARC Art Show

At the PARC we have seen many begin to break the cycle of homelessness in which they have been stuck. There are many reasons that contribute to this, but one of the key pieces is the projects that they participate in when they come. What we have discovered is that many that come to the PARC are gifted artists or craftsmen. The PARC allows them to express those things that are inside of them that they have either forgotten or never knew existed. We are amazed and blessed by the beautiful work that is produced on a daily basis by the members. As they see and experience success, and see the result of their work, they begin to find that their value and their confidence grows. They have said over and over, “It helps me to realize that I don’t have to stay where I am.” 

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On April 24, many of these works will be on display, and you will be given the opportunity to purchase them as a donation to the PARC. The members have worked hard for this art show and are excited to be able to contribute and give back. I hope that you will come. The show will be at the PARC, and you will have an opportunity to meet some of the artists. It will be an evening of fun and food and all donations will go directly to the PARC.  

C.J., one of the members, describes the PARC as “a community center where those that are homeless can get back in the community.” Many are doing so. In just the few short months that the PARC has been open, 10 have found jobs, 8 have found a place to live, and 2 are in school. As relationships are built and opportunities for success are given, our community is benfited by your donation. 

What is Success?

When anyone asks me about the PARC I always have so many wonderful stories to share. I love  to tell about the people that walk through our door and about the miraculous changes that I get to observe on a daily basis.  I KNOW that lives are truly being changed every day! 

So, what is the definition of success? In some cases it is easy to recognize. There are numerous members that have gotten jobs and some have even gotten a place to live. Here at the PARC however, there are many  definitions of success. I can tell you about Eric, who when he first came would not look you in the eye or even talk when he was spoken to. He sat in the corner and just watced. Now when Eric walks through the door he has a smile on his face and engages in conversation with all those he sees. He is friendly and has a sense of humor. Erice makes ME smile. 

Jaime came in 2 days ago and we were told by the other members to watch out for him. He has a reputation on the streets as a tough guy and one that you should watch out for. When  I sat down to talk to Jaime however,  he shared with me that he was making a cross for one of his friends. His friend is on meth and Jaime is afraid that he might not make it.. He wanted to give him some reminder that someone cares and is praying for him. One of our members remarked that it is interesting to observe how when people come to the PARC that the mask comes off. They are able to drop the 'tough guy image" and just be who they really are. 

Today Jennifer walked through our doors. She had been here before, but was loud, rebellious and had to be reminded many times to watch her language. Today she was different.  I sat with her for a while and heard her heart. I heard her story. She told me how she is trying to figure out God and if she can really relate to Him. She has been a drug dealer 'her whole  life' and when people told her there was another way she couldn't see the way. There has been a lot of pain and tragedy in  her short life.  As she was painting a picture she told me, "When I come here and  do these 'stupid little projects' I realize that there are things inside of me that I didn't even know about. I start to see that there might be something else I can do besides what I've always known."  Jennifer and I  talked about forgiveness today. We talked about how much God loves her.  We even talked about hearing God and how He talks to her on a daily basis. Jennifer has hope.

There are many definitions of success and we get to see them every day. Those that come to the PARC are reminded that they are valuable and it opens their minds to the possibility of doing things differently so that this cycle they have been trapped in is broken. Through the projects and the creativity that comes they begin to realize that there are gifts and abilities inside of them. Through their feelings of  succes as they complete projects they begin to dream again and feel that maybe they can be successful in life.

 Success is simply taking a step towards a better way. Even the 'success storie's of those that have begun to work  is simply a 'step'.  At the PARC we help them to take the steps and each step becomes a moment of success. It is an honor to watch the miraculous changes and to be a part of the amazing success stories that take place. the PARC needs YOU. We have many volunteer opportunities available and we need your donations. Join us in helping those experiencing homelessness to pursue life's possibilities.

Making New Friends Every Day

the PARC is growing! Every day we see new faces and meet new friends. Wednesday was the biggest day we have had so far. 27 members joined us throughout the day and we were bursting at the seams! It was a wonderful day. At any time throughout the day you could look around and see the members at the tables working to complete their projects. There was conversation and an occasional burst of laughter. It is truly a place of peace and redemption. 

We continue to see people find hope and realize that they have possibilities for their life. The stories we hear over and over are that people are different when they come to the PARC. There is a peace there that allows them to escape the chaos and and an acceptance that envelops them when they walk through the door. It helps them to remember who they once were and to remind them that they can do more than they are doing now.

 

I had a long conversation with Leslie on Friday. She is experiencing many health issues and is afraid she may be confined to a wheelchair. As we talked, Leslie shared with me about how much she has changed since coming to the PARC. She remembers how scared she used to be and how she would never look anyone in the eye. Leslie would always keep her head down because she was full of shame and did not feel worthy. Now she has courage. She understands the importance of caring for herself and becoming the person she was intended to be. Through the projects she has learned that she is capable of more than she realized. Through the classes and the relationships she has formed, she is beginning to realize that she is valuable. "I work on that every day" she said. "The PARC has changed my life. I don't know where I would be if it weren't for you. I am a better person and you can quote that anywhere you want!!!"  She will fight for her health. She will fight for her future. Leslie is an amazing woman and it is such a joy to watch her discover that for herself.

I hope that you will join us and become a part of this wonderful and powerful work. Volunteers are needed as well as financial donations. You are always welcome to come by. Being a part of the PARC will leave you blessed and put a smile on your face. Come on. You will LOVE it!

The Difference a Conversation Can Make

David has been coming to the PARC only a few days. He told me that he is waiting on his income tax return and  that I would probably not see him for a few days when he got it. When I asked him why, he told me that he would probably get a motel room and get drunk. I said, "Oh David, I hate you to waste your money and it be gone so quickly. I wish you could use if for something that would help you or that you need." He told me that he would be careful. A little later that day he came to me and told me that he was thinking about using his money to go see a friend. When I asked him if that would be a good thing, he nodded and said that he thought so. He was going to check in to the price of bus tickets. Towards the end of the day David found me again and said that he was thinking about going to see his parents. He had checked in to the price of a round trip ticket and felt like it would be a really good thing if he went to see them. He had not seen them in a very long time.

I don't know how David will decide to spend his money, but I can tell you that a simple conversation helped him to become aware that there are other possibilities than following in the footsteps of the decisions that he had previously made. Through relationship and conversation, those that are experiencing homelessness are reminded of the possibilities that will help them to break their cycle. They find their value and gain the confidence to move forward.

We need volunteers.. Volunteers have conversation and form relationship with the members through projects and classes. This is done by:

- Participating with the members in an already planned project

- Leading a project

- Teaching a class

- Sitting with the members and talking to them while they participate in a project

True change takes place when they are validated by someone taking the time to listen. This sense of worth propels them to take the steps to break their cycle of homelessness.  Anyone is welcome to drop by to see what we do at any time. We are open Tuesday - Friday, 8:00- 4:30. If you would like to more information, fill out the information on our 'join us' page and someone will contact you and get you plugged in. 

 

 

Why I Like the PARC

When you walk through the doors of the PARC you notice it immediately. There is a peace and joy that is almost tangible. I recently asked the members why they liked coming to the PARC. Here are a few of their responses:

- I am treated as a person and not as an object or a number.

- People are nice.

- It is peaceful here.

- I don't have to worry about someone stealing my stuff.

- People listen to me.

- It's safe.

- I am accepted here.

- There is no judgment.

These are just a few of the reasons that I heard about the blessing of the PARC. The list goes on. When Josh first came I didn't think he would stay. He was angry and belligerent. We had to ask him to lower his voice on more than one occasion. He was argumentative and tried to take over the classes so that his opinion would be heard. He continued to come. As the volunteers listened and valued what he had to say we watched his countenance change. As he found acceptance, a peace settled over him. One day, as he was working on a project that took him several days to complete, I asked him if he had found out things about himself that he didn't know were there by coming to the PARC. He nodded and said, "the PARC has helped me to calm down and find patience.  It helps me to re-identify myself so that I can dig deep and find the strength to make a change." Josh has connected with Eloy from Goodwill and has some leads on a job. He is ready to work!  He still wrestles with his anger, but he sees himself as a victor. I am so proud of him.

As the number of our members increases, our need for volunteers grows. The miraculous changes that we see taking place happen through our volunteers taking the time to listen and have conversation. They do this by participating in projects that are already planned or by leading an activity. Some just come and join in the conversation. Showing value and acceptance has power! Please join us. You can call the PARC at 367-8024 or email us at volunteer@theparc.net. There is a place for you!

New Classes

the PARC is filling up. We meet new people every day and have to say good-bye to a few. Last week, 3 of the members got jobs! It's hard to know we won't see them on a regular basis, but we celebrate with them as they move toward the possibilities of their life and breaking the cycle of homelessness.

One of the most exciting things happening around the PARC is the addition of classes to our schedule. The members love the teaching and discussion that takes place around the table. Katy wanted to attend a job fair at Work Force but needed help with her resume. Pam, one of our volunteers, met her here to help update her resume and prepare to interview.

We have a Recovery Class and a Boundaries Class taught every Wednesday by Deanna. Iris is teaching a Bible Study and Nan brought all of the things needed to teach a mosaic class for the members to make beautiful crosses. Nikki came and taught an art class where they are learning to create on canvass something that they didn't know was possbile. The members have told me that the PARC has shown them that they can do more than they thought. It becomes their motivation to try harder. Their success in the projects and classes encourages them to pursue opportunities that they were too discouraged to even consider before.

One of the most popular classes, Discovering Your Identity, is taught by Royce Gooch. He comes every week to help the members see that they are new creations. The Righteousness of Christ dwells in them and they are forgiven. Many of them are overcome as they begin to try to comprehend the magnitude that they are valued and worthy. 

We continue to see people change right before our eyes every day! As the membership grows, our needs increase. Please consider a financial donation to help those experiencing homelessness become aware of their possibilities. As relationship takes place through our volunteers, and the members begin to awaken to who they are and the things they are capable of, we can join together to break the cycle of homelessness.

New Year / New Starts

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We continue to be amazed at the changes that are taking place right before our eyes in the lives of those that come to the PARC. When Leslie first came she was scared and suffered from anxiety attacks. After coming to the PARC on a consistent basis she finds that she isn't scared anymore. She has come to understand that she is capable of more than she realized and is even considering completing her degree. As we talked she said, "I can never repay what this place has done for me."

Daisha showed up last week. She had just arrived from Oklahoma where she is fleeing from an abusive home. Daisha is a very gifted artist and has been able to find friendship and stability while she tries to find a way to survive.  Some of our volunteers have helped her to find clothing and Eloy from Goodwill is working with her to help her find a job.

We are also celebrating with Willie who was able to get into an apartment over the holidays. He isn't around as much, so we miss him, but we are happy for him to be in his new home.

Lives are also  being changed in our volunteers. We hear comments such as, "This has been so good for me." "I love it!. I would be here every day if I could." "I came today a little selfishly. I needed to be here." 

After the holidays we extended our hours to be open 4 days a week. We are now open Tuesday - Friday from 8:00 - 4:30.  As the volunteer base grows we will move towards being open 5 days a week. One of our goals is to increase the classes that are offered. We currently have a Hope Recovery Support Group, a Thursday morning Bible Study, Crochet Lessons and an Art Class,  We soon will be offering classes in Discovering Your Identity and Carpentry.  Our members love to learn and gravitate towards anything that is being taught.

Right now the PARC serves about 35 members. This number increases daily as those who come share with others that they believe will benefit from what the PARC offers. Every day is different and is filled with new friends, great stories and changed lives. 

Community Lunch

We were privileged to share in a community lunch, hosted by Central Church of Christ, on Saturday, December 20th.  Mark Love did a wonderful job of hosting approximatley 450  of those who  are experiencing homelessness in the Amarillo area for  a delicious meal, catered by Desperados. The guests were able to eat all they wanted and still have a box of food to take home. They were also given groceries, a first-aid kit, and the children were given toys by Santa.

the PARC was honored to be highlighted at the luncheon. Mark spoke about the ministry and gave the guests an opportunity to give.  We were blessed with $383.03. This was added to the generous offering of $280.31 that had already been taken by Loaves and Fishes. A total of $663.34 was donated to the PARC! We are so grateful.

It is such a blessing to work beside Mark Love and his ministy at Central Church of Christ. Together we are making a difference in Amarillo and in the lives of those experiencing homelessness.