Hospitable

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the PARC uses a core set of values to fulfill our mission of helping those experiencing homelessness to find hope and possibilities. Hospitality is vital to this mission. 

 

At the PARC, we want both the environment and the people to be hospitable. This means:

  • The environment at the PARC will be warm and welcoming
    • The tables will be painted warm and inviting colors.
    • The room will be clean and in order.
    • Fresh coffee and water will be available.
    • The room will smell good.
    • Projects will be ready, presented in an attractive way on the tables. 
  • Everyone that does through the door will be greeted.
    • If we already know them, we will call them by name.
    • If they have never been to the PARC, a staff member or volunteer will go to the door and greet them.
      • The staff member or volunteer will welcome them, introduce themselves, and learn their name.
      • We will tell them that we are glad they are here.
      • The staff member or volunteer will then show them around the PARC, explain what we do at the PARC, and share the expectations. 
        • Show them the class schedule and let them know that we expect them to attend the classes.
        • Introduce them to the supplies and explain that they will need to find something to do. If there is something they need that they can't find, to let us know and we will try to find it for them.
        • Introduce them to other members.
        • Show them where the coffee and water are.
        • Show them where the restroom facilities are and where and when smoking is permitted. 
    • Throughout the day, we will check on the members, continue to call them by name, and make sure they have what they need. 
  • Maintain an atmosphere of peace.
    • Those that are angry or out of order will be asked/escorted outside until they have calmed down.
    • There will be mutual respect between staff, volunteers, and members.
    • The staff and volunteers are non-judgmental, open-hearted, positive, and encouraging.
  • There is a sense of belonging and ownership.
    • Those who come to the PARC will be called members.
    • As each person participates in activities that keep them productive and at ease, it maintains an atmosphere of peace and relationship.
  • When someone leaves the PARC, we will tell them goodbye and let them know that we are looking forward to the next time that we will see them.

Miracles Happen at the PARC

Rainee started coming to the PARC not long after we opened. One of our values is "You never run out of chances." Rainee is an example of the power that value has. Due to her addiction, there were many occasions Rainee came to the PARC under the influence and had to be asked to leave. When she was ready she was welcomed back each time and given encouragement to persevere. We've been honored to journey with her, to watch her go from the streets, addiction and abuse through the strong battle to just stay sober. We had the privilege of walking with her as she decided to work through her steps of recovery; forgiveness, making amends, and the hard, hard things required to get her life back.

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Last fall, Rainee transitioned to Martha's Home and overcame many obstacles to find a job and begin working. During this time, she cautiously moved towards reconciliation with her children through humility, respect and listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Recently, Rainee came by the PARC to introduce me to her daughter! This is no small matter. This is God at work in the mightiest of ways. Rainee's life today is a miracle! In her, I see HIS miraculous work, a fulfillment of promises, perseverance and hard work.

I am grateful for the PARC. I am grateful for my unlikely friends. I am grateful for the opportunity to watch God's miracles happen right before my very eyes.

 

 

Coffee for a Cause

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We drink a lot coffee at the PARC. Coffee is important to the PARC. There is always a fresh pot brewed when you walk in, and we take pride in brewing a good cup of coffee for our members and volunteers. Our members especially love our coffee, and many enjoy it all day every day with their preferred fixings of sweetener and creamer. 

So, it was an honor and a perfect fit when Palace Coffee Co. asked if we would like to be one of their monthly causes this year! Like us, they take pride in serving only the best coffee to their customers, and they are trying to make a positive change in our community. the PARC is Palace's March cause, which means anytime someone buys their Cause Latte this month, we receive $1! The Cause Latte for March is "the Matador" which is a delicious blend of sweetened evaporated milk with cinnamon, espresso, and steamed milk. I can personally assure you the Matador is amazing! 

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In addition to the donations from Palace for Cause Latte purchases, Palace Coffee Co. has teamed up with the Amarillo Area Foundation which provides even greater support to their monthly causes! Once each month, if you scan the QR code on your Palace Coffee sleeve and enter your contact information, AAF will donate $5 to that month's cause! If you have not scanned your sleeve yet this month, please do so! (And don't worry, AAF is not going to spam your e-mails each day.)

Thank you Palace Coffee Co. and Amarillo Area Foundation for this opportunity and for all you do in our community, and thank you to everyone who is buying the Cause Latte and scanning your sleeve!!

Impacting People

 Valerie speaking at our Spring Volunteer Meeting

Valerie speaking at our Spring Volunteer Meeting

Last night was so much fun! Our volunteers gathered to learn more about the impact they are making in the lives of those experiencing homelessness and in our community. Valerie shared many stories of the positive changes we get to see in our members resulting from our amazing volunteers, the 41% increase in daily attendance we have seen since January, and the continued need we have for more volunteers. In February, we served 102 unique individuals, and an average of 24 individuals each day. 

Below is a chart showing our current volunteer presence. Any box with 0 in the first chart means there are currently no volunteers regularly here at that time on that day. The second chart shows our current class schedule. We would like to have a class every morning and afternoon. The three blank spaces show the times we do not have any classes. We also have room for another Thursday morning class every other week. Take a look and see if there is a place for you! We would love to meet with you and give you a tour to show you more - give us a call (806-367-8024) or email (jenna@theparc.net)!

Volunteer Presence

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

8:00-8:30

1

0

1

0

0

8:30-9:00

1

0

1

0

0

9:00-9:30

3

1

1

0

0

9:30-10:00

3

1

1

0

0

10:00-10:30

3

3

1

0

1

10:30-11:00

3

3

1

0

1

11:00-11:30

3

3

1

0

1

11:30-12:00

1

2

0

0

1

12:00-12:30

0

0

0

0

1

12:30-1:00

0

0

0

0

1

1:00-1:30

0

0

0

0

1

1:30-2:00

1

0

0

1

1

2:00-2:30

1

2

0

2

1

2:30-3:00

0

2

0

2

1

3:00-3:30

0

2

0

2

0

3:30-4:00

0

0

0

2

0

Classes

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Morning

Ashley/Tammy

Jack

DeAnna +

Kaylynda (every other)

Amber/Matt/Scott

Afternoon

Myrl

Krista/Sara

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the meeting! We hope you all enjoyed getting to meet each other and share your stories as much as we did!

Respect

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the PARC operates using a core set of values. One of the most important values is respect.

 

At the PARC, respect means:

  • Each person that walks through our doors will be treated with respect by staff, volunteers, and other members. 

  • As staff and volunteers, we respect their decisions.
    • If they choose not to meet our expectations, we will respect that decision, and they are free to leave. They can come back to the PARC whenever they are ready to abide by the culture of the PARC.
      • This supports the value that they never run out of chances. When we tell them to leave, they will know that they can come back whenever THEY decide. 
    • If they choose to make decisions other than what we deem best when they leave the PARC, we will respect them and allow them to walk the path that they choose, and not the path we would choose for them. 
      • There will be no judgement, and they will be shown acceptance and love for who they are and not what they do. 
  • When addressing an issue, we will be forthright and firm in our responses while still using respectful and kind words.
  • Good manners are expected to show respect and gratitude. These will be encouraged and taught with kindness. 

Answered Prayers

January 15, 2018 was our first Monday EVER to be open, and what a day it was! After three years of prayer and hard work, our dream of being open to serve the homeless Monday through Friday every week became a reality.  Monday morning, our space was filled with members and volunteers who came together to celebrate this huge milestone. We had great food and great conversation and the energy in the room was amazing! 

We are so grateful for all of you who have faithfully supported us with your prayers, time, and money. It is because of you that we are able to fulfill our mission of providing a caring, relational place that promotes a sense of self-worth and helps the homeless to become aware of their possibilities! A place where hope is restored and possibilities are realized!

Dreams Come True

One-on-One 2017 was amazing! Thank you to everyone who sponsored, donated, volunteered, and helped make the event a huge success! Through your generosity we met our goal!  We are excited to announce that we will be opening on Mondays beginning January 15th. Being open Monday-Friday each week is a dream we have had since we opened three years ago. Our members are grateful and we appreciate you helping to make our dreams come true. 

Unlikely Friends

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Our “Unlikely Friends” evening last Friday night was powerful. One of the PARC members wrote me a letter and I believe her words describe the night perfectly.  “I was surrounded by a great community that just showered me with greetings of love, kindness and support. It felt like such a wonderful happening of people who love each other and love me. It was like a family reunion.” That is exactly how I felt!!

It was such a beautiful evening of people in our community coming from various and diverse backgrounds to be together, have conversation and make new friends. I love the way it communicated the heartbeat of the PARC and I was overwhelmed when I stood at the front of the theater and saw the members of the PARC propped up in their recliners with their popcorn and drinks. 

The story of Ron and Denver depicts so powerfully how relationship changes us and how that change then spreads throughout our community and further. That is what we are doing at the PARC. Relationships are formed, lives are changed and the cycle of homelessness is broken. As those that are often unseen find their value and remember who they are, they see the possibilities before them and begin to take the steps to move to their ‘next’.

I would like to invite you to join with us in changing the lives of those experiencing homelessness in Amarillo. For each member, it costs the PARC $25 a day, $125 a week and $500 a month to offer them life’s possibilities. Please consider partnering with us by giving to the PARC on a monthly basis and help provide for a member’s day, week or even month.

Thank you to everyone who came, to everyone who gave, to everyone who volunteered, and especially to Central Church of Christ, First United Methodist Canyon, St. Stephen United Methodist Church, More Church, and John and Karen Walker for sponsoring the night. With your help, we are rebuilding lives and helping the homeless become aware of life's possibilities!

Life Changes When We Volunteer

Jack Dison is a familiar face around the PARC. He comes weekly to lead a discussion group, and we are always blessed by his presence. I wanted to give you the opportunity to hear his perspective and the effect volunteering at the PARC has had on his life. There are many ways to volunteer at the PARC, and if you are interested I would love to tell you more.

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Jack writes:

It seems to me that at the heart of Jesus’ teachings (and other similar traditions) we are called to love one another and to place the needs of others above our own.  That’s a challenging assignment.  How can we do that, especially for those who have been pushed aside and rejected? 

One of the few places that I have found those principles to be embodied, day-after-day, is in the organization known as the PARC. It offers a place where people facing enormous challenges can be and are accepted, encouraged, and supported. 

As a volunteer I get to participate in what the PARC offers.  That happens in at least two ways.  First, I get to witness the love that is available and exchanged in various ways for and among members who find their way to the PARC.  

That reminds me of the place in the Bible where Jesus explains that the two major commandments are (1) love God and (2) love your neighbor.  Someone then asked him “Who is my neighbor?”

Jesus then told the story that we call the Good Samaritan.  The story calls us to be merciful to those who are poor, rejected, and in need.  It calls us to get out of our comfort zones and to cross boundaries that normally would keep us apart.  The Jews and Samaritans were separated by distrust and hate.  But it was the Good Samaritan who showed mercy and love to the Jew who was in trouble and great need.  Obviously it was the Good Samaritan who was the neighbor, rather than the others who passed by and ignored the one who needed help.

In the PARC, members are given constructive ways to spend their days, rather than merely sitting and standing around doing little or nothing.  Those responsible for setting the PARC up and administering it, noticed ways that they could be Good Samaritans right here and right now in Amarillo, Texas. Doing that work is not easy, and in some cases it is quite difficult.

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Second, as a volunteer I have the privilege to facilitate a “class” or group to give the PARC members an opportunity to share conversation which helps them take a deeper look at themselves than most have ever done.  I do this using what is called the “circle method.”  The technique is fairly simple.  We sit in a circle, we use a talking piece which we pass around the circle, and we share parts of our story, which direct us to look at where we have been in our lives, where we are now, and where we hope to be going in the future.  

Most members are drawn to and participate in what we do in the group.  We work together as a group to make it a safe place to share.  An important thing we do for each other in the group is to listen deeply to each other.  That is a gift of love we can exchange in our group process.  It is important to be listened to. 

Being facilitator does not make me the expert in the group.  While I help keep the group on track, I am one among all the others in the group.  I am convinced that the wisdom which emerges in such groups comes from every member of the group as we share our experience, our stories, and ourselves with each other.  

It is a huge honor for me to be a witness to the fine work of the PARC and to be a facilitator in the groups that meet each Tuesday morning.  It adds to my life every time I am there.  

I would not call myself a Good Samaritan, but the PARC gives me a chance to hang out with some people who are.

 

 

The Power of Deciding

Ravi came to me last week and asked me to share his testimony of how his life has taken a dramatic turn in this past year. We, at the PARC, have had the privilege of walking with Ravi and watching him make hard decisions day after day. We have had the honor of seeing him take the steps to move to his 'next' and then his 'next'. He continues to move forward. These are his words.

"I have completely changed to become a better human being, filled with compassion and love to every person, place and things surrounding me. I was pushed to a corner with nowhere to turn, not knowing what was in store or which direction to go. I was surrounded by negative energies, hopelessness, bitterness, and anger. I CHOSE to lead a different lifestyle altogether, relying on honesty and truthfulness to shape my future. Slowly and cautiously I took steps with the help of support groups, organizations and opportunities to lay a strong foundation for a life full of abundant love and compassion. What I have accomplished is pure and crystal happiness.

"As a member of the PARC I utilized the tools provided to me to enhance my spiritual knowledge towards the purposes for my life. My unconditional commitment to every activity at the PARC has made me a better individual which is evident both in my qualitative and quantitative product of the principles and promises of the PARC".

At the PARC they are given back their name.

At the PARC they realize they are capable.

At the PARC the cycle of homelessness is broken and a sense of purpose is established.

 

Love Conquers All

As I reflect on the story of the PARC, there are so many victories and disappointments. I want to share one story that has touched my heart the most.

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 If you have met Allison, you love her. Her authenticity and love for the Lord endears all those who know her. She loves God, scripture and people and is one of the mightiest prayer warriors I know. Allison has an addiction to meth and has engaged in a lifestyle not many of us would endorse for over 20 years. Through her time in coming to the PARC we have continued to love her, show her value and remind her that we love her not for what she does, but for who she is.  She is always welcome back and she will never run out of chances. Allison saw no way out, but over time she began to become aware that there were possibilities for her. She overcame many obstacles to FINALLY get her I.D. and social security card. I wish you could have been here to experience what Robert and I saw when Allison finally received her I.D. in the mail. She waited until she got to the PARC to open it. She prayed, kissed the envelope and then opened it up. When she saw it she threw her hands up, praised Jesus and hugged us both! She said the owed this all to the PARC.

Then, Allison applied for a job. We walked with her as she followed up on her application and then rejoiced with her when she  got the job. There was such a celebration that day. This is a true miracle indeed. She is so proud and determined. Allison took a HUGE next step. When I asked her how long it had been since she had worked, she asked, “You mean a public job? It’s been 20 years.”  Allison began her job and would come in each morning with a huge smile on her face to tell us about how her work was going and how much she loved her job.

When the PARC opened on Tuesday we heard that Allison had been kicked out of Salvation Army and lost her job. I  hoped she would come back to the PARC so we could try to help her to keep moving forward. She arrived at the PARC around 1:00 that day in her pajamas. She had no other clothes. I was so happy to see her and began to hear her story. Allison uses a lot of words, but what jumped out at me was that Allison had been told by someone at Salvation Army that she had lost her job and she just believed them. I asked her how many days of work she had missed. She told me that she had only missed one, so I encouraged her to call her boss, apologize and ask if she could keep her job.  As her eyes lit up she said, "I can do that?" We watched her make that phone call, saw tears come to her eyes and heard her say, "Thank you, Sir. Thank  you. I will be there and I will work hard." She hugged me and cried out of thankfulness and gratitude, and then she called her daddy in South Carolina. I had the privilege of talking to her sweet daddy and hearing him thank me for helping his daughter. I had some leggings in the cabinet that I gave her to wear to work.

My friends, this is the story of the PARC. Our privilege has been to know Allison, a person we would have never known if it weren't for the PARC. Our privilege has been to walk with her and continue to love her even though her lifestyle is not one we endorse.  Our honor has been to watch her walk in to a place she never thought possible because she found love, acceptance and value at the PARC. Allison came in hopeless, but she left with hope. This is the PARC. This is what we do. Isn't it wonderful? Aren't we lucky to get to be a part of the greatness and vastness of God's love, hope and destiny for those that are so often lost and forgotten? Love truly does conquer all!!

 

 

 

What Does Homeless Look Like?

Christy loves the PARC and she loves to tell other people how it has helped her. She arrived in Amarillo on January 1 with plans to stay with a friend, but she ended up at Salvation Army. These are her words:

"I heard about the PARC from some of the people at Salvation Army. When I walked through the door the first time I was met with a kind heart and open arms, and it threw me for a loop. I didn’t think it would be like this at all.  They showed me all the things I could do and learn. All they ask is that we try to be productive. They have good coffee, and everything in the PARC is free, which is overwhelming to me, too. There are classes on anything you can imagine.

"When I got here, I was surprised that the people that were here at the PARC were homeless. I think when you walk in here you become 'not a normal homeless person'. People will ask, 'What is a normal homeless person?' I will say that a normal homeless person is lost and not sure what direction to go. They become bitter and uncaring. People that are homeless are often become greedy and some want to stay homeless. But, the percentage that wants to move forward needs to come to the PARC. I wish I could tell people to follow me and let me show you something good.

"The PARC has opened my eyes to something I have never seen before. No one has ever reached out to me like this before. I’ve been in counseling and rehab, but it wasn’t the same. I've gotten more from here in the past month than I have in the past 5 years. I’ve gained confidence, courage, self-esteem, and I have someone that cares for me. I am a recovering addict and without the PARC I would have relapsed. The PARC has given me a place to go and not think about drugs. The PARC showed me goals I didn’t even know I had, and how to get them. I am about to move into an apartment in a few days, and I am saving for a vehicle. The PARC is teaching me that it is okay to talk to God anyway I want, that He loves me for who I am and that He forgives me. I never knew that. It makes me want to cry. I’ve learned to read the Bible and now I know that He can take me down any path and it’s going to be alright. He isn’t ever going to lie to me. He makes my heart feel really good. I’ve learned so much here at the PARC. If my Momma was still here she would be knocking on the door to tell you thank you.

"I have to thank Valerie and Robert for it all and the volunteers. When I tell people about the PARC, I tell them that Valerie is very protective and wants to show us how to be better people. She will talk to you and listen. Valerie and Robert are opposites. He teases me and makes me laugh. They are two kind people wanting to do some good for people that didn’t know there was any good out there."

What does homeless look like? It looks like Christy that just needed a place to find her value and know herself through the eyes of acceptance and love. It changes everything. Just ask Christy.

The Sky is the Limit

It is often hard to explain what we do at the PARC because it isn't tangible. What happens at the PARC happens within. It happens in their spirits. It happens in their souls. The things that happen at the PARC are sustaining. When those that come to the PARC leave, they carry deep within themselves the things that they have been given.

Anna came to the PARC 5 months ago. For the the first few weeks she just sat at a table and worked on her projects. She didn't talk much and had a lot of walls. Anna felt hurt by her family and life. She felt abandoned and alone. The longer she was here the more confident she became and the walls began to fall down. Her gifts became evident and her heart began to open. Anna is resourceful and a true servant. If anyone needed help she was quick to step in and do what was needed. She is extremely gifted in organizational skills and administration. Anna is smart! Somewhere in the journey of her life she had been told she had a learning disability and she carried that label. As she spent time at the PARC that label began to fall off and her heart began to heal. She began to believe in herself.

Last week as I walked past Anna's table she was sitting with a friend and crying. As I sat with her she told me that she had a choice to make. Her father had texted her and offered her the chance to come home and help her get back on her feet. She was scared. He lives in a city she has never lived and it would mean putting herself in a situation that had been painful in the past. I began to remind her of all the things she had discovered about herself and the ways she has changed. A volunteer joined me to encourage her and to remind her of how very capable she is. Anna found the confidence and courage to say yes. She found the confidence and courage to go back to her family and start a new life.

Anna has stayed in touch since she left. I received a message from her and she told me, "I'm pretty sure that moving to Dallas was the best and hardest choice I made. I have an interview on Monday. Things are going the way I wanted. Thank you, Valerie for  pushing me and letting me see the bright side of it all." 

Anna has hit the ground running since she arrived in Dallas. Matt Morgan is one of our volunteers that comes once a month to teach the members about how to get a job and the journey that is necessary in order to get their 'dream job'. He gives out his contact information and offers to help them if they need help. Anna told me, "I've been emailing Matt and he's been a big help with my resume and he will continue to help me. He answers back quickly."  Anna isn't giving up. She has had 6 interviews since arriving in Dallas. She has 2 interviews today and one on Saturday. She was nervous about a test she had to take for one of her interviews, but she passed it!! 

We ARE SO VERY PROUD OF HER. Life is hard, and when people experience homelessness, they quickly lose themselves and their sense of worth. The PARC is a place where they are encouraged and loved. There is an atmosphere where everyone can feel valued and respected. At the PARC, they realize they are capable, and a sense of purpose is established. The Sky is the Limit for Anna. There is no stopping her now!

 

Thank You

The One-on-One Art Show was a night to remember. This one-of-a-kind event was fun, unique and filled with laughter. Thank you to those who came, all who gave, and to our generous sponsors that made the evening such a tremendous success. Due to your kind and giving hearts, we were able to raise money to help those experiencing homelessness find their value and establish a sense of purpose. Those in Amarillo will be given back their name, realize they are capable, and break the cycle of homelessness.

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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