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The Art of Community

Despite the heavy rain, many of you drove all the way out to Trinity Forest Golf Club to join us for our Art of Community fundraiser a few weeks ago. That alone is a great picture of what community looks like—showing up!

And, as many of you know, that is exactly what we do at The Human Impact. We are a ministry of presence, as Elisabeth shared at this event, and that looks like showing up, rain or shine, for our friends on the street.

When you arrived at Trinity Forest, you may have been greeted by Stormy, our Community Advocate, who then led you into the building for cocktails. With your drink-of-choice in hand, you may have chatted with a few people, enjoyed those delicious mushroom appetizers, or stopped to look at the large photos of what we do spread throughout the room.

After this, everyone was led into the main room where there was amazing food, a huge “Fill a Need” board where you got to choose ways to invest in our work, and a time to hear more about our work.

This is where Elisabeth, Founder of The Human Impact, and two of our partners, shared with everyone about how we get to walk alongside those who are experiencing homelessness in South Dallas. NO STEREOTYPICAL HOMELESS PERSON… The Human Impact helps the homeless in Dallas in a remarkably simple way—through friendship. Since we believe poverty stems most fundamentally from broken relationships, we believe the solution to poverty exists most fundamentally in new, healthy relationships. Through healthy community.

“There are few groups in our day and age who are, in my opinion, more misunderstood than the homeless,” Elisabeth shared. “…most people have a “homeless person” stereotype, but the reality is that there is no stereotypical homeless person. Much like us, there are many layers to each homeless person individually, there are also many layers to their life experience to date, and will be many layers to what each person’s life will look like going forward. All of these come together to create a unique situation with a unique solution for each person.”

Learning someone’s story and getting to truly know them takes time. This is why we lead with relationship. Before we do anything for them, we are a ministry of presence first—getting to know people, their needs and passions. Then later we begin to address the more practical things, and how this practical help plays out is different for each person.

“After we have known someone for a while and seen consistency, they may ask for help or we may offer it. We then take people away from the streets to grab coffee or a meal,” Elisabeth shared. “A safety is created away from the streets where survival is top of mind. Here, people open up and share more of their story with us.”

A FEW OF OUR PARTNERSHIPS The next step is meeting with them weekly, if they are interested, to go through a life plan with them of what they think they need, want and dream for. This is when many of our partnerships come into play. If they want to get their teeth looked at, we not only connect them with one of our partners who helps with this, but we actually go WITH them.

Or if they are wanting a job in a certain field, we connect them to Bonton Farms, Perry Guest Companies, or another one of our partners that we think might fit what they are wanting. If they get the job, we meet with them weekly to be a support for them in this new step.

Neal Morris with Perry Guest Co.

PERRY GUEST COMPANIES Neal Morris, Managing Partner at Perry Guest Companies, who has hired a few of a friends from the street, shared his perspective on what this partnership with us looks like for Perry Guest.

“The homeless have a very very hard time finding jobs. The problem is that there is a gap in trust between the homeless and working communities,” Neal said. “Employers feel like hiring a homeless person not only comes with a lot of added risk, but that they can’t even quantify the amount of added risk. The unknowns are too great. So, they err on the safe side, and pass on hiring the homeless.”

Hayley and Robert

“This is where the Human Impact comes in and plays a critical role in minimizing the unknowns for a would-be employer,” he continued. “With a Candidate Profile in hand, an employer can then make an informed decision. Moreover, they have the added comfort of knowing that if any complications arise, the Human Impact will use their best efforts to help.” He went on to share that every candidate is a risk, regardless of whether they have a roof over their head or not. And then he shared about one of our friends, Robert, who he recently hired as a porter for Perry Guest Companies.

“Our newest hire, Robert, is the best porter we’ve ever had. I love Robert. Everyone in our company loves Robert. Everyday he’s upbeat saying how blessed he is, and he’s out picking up other people’s trash everyday in 100 degree heat.”

Trog with Bonton Farms

BONTON FARMS Bonton Farms, an urban farm growing and serving fresh food in South Dallas, is another place many of our friends work at. Trog Trogdon, VP of Bonton Farms, also shared about what our partnership looks like for him. “It’s a partnership that shares a common heart. A heart to see the lives of our friends become all that God has called them to be. If there is ONE thing that we want to be, it’s like Jesus. That’s it,” Trog shared.

“We want to be like Jesus, who loved those whom the blind world said were ‘unlovable’ (which, by the way, includes you & me). So, are we friends of sinners, absolutely! Because we are sinners too! Are we friends of ‘broken’ people, absolutely! Because I’m broken too!” OUR COMMUNITY We are grateful to be in partnership with both Perry Guest and Bonton Farms. We are also grateful for our many other partnerships not mentioned. Working together in community like this is what brings healthy, permanent change—in our friends on the street and in ourselves. So, partners, volunteers, friends—thank you for showing up, rain or shine, for being like Jesus and entering into the lives of others in love.

“Ultimately, we seek human flourishing for each individual,” Elisabeth said. “We believe God is committed to flourishing for each of us, including the homeless. So our hope and prayer and what we work as hard as we can towards is stabilization for each of our friends as they choose this path.”

THANK YOU To our Co-Chairs, Megan and Hunter Carpenter, and Katy and Nathan Golik, to our Honorary Chairs, Jennifer and Steven Jorns, and to Carley McClain with Higher Perspective Film for our wonderful video! And thank you to our speakers Trog Trogdon, Neal Morris and Elisabeth Jordan.

Thank you also to our generous Sponsors and Donors:

Mary Beth and Hunter Allen, Margaret and Gentry Bowen, Leigh and Ben Breunig, Hannah and Ryan Buchanan, Megan and Hunter Carpenter, June Dales, Abby and Ben Davis, Martyn Evans, Sara and Travis Gallivan, Kelly and Paul Gittemeier, The Sophie Grace Foundation, Wayne Hardin, Harriette and John Hill, Crissy and Mike Holcomb, Helen and Coleman Hubbard, Patrick Hurley, Wilson and Robert Johnson, Elisabeth and Austin Jordan, Jennifer and Steve Jorns, Gail and Coy Keene, The McCamey Family, Charlotte Medley Lauren and Matt Middleton, John Moore, Kelly and Neal Morris, Karen and Robin Pou, Sahar and Rob Sea, Kendal Stone, Jane and Andy Swartz, Anonymous, All Saints Dallas, Four Corners Brewing Co, Gold Crown Valet, Higher Perspective Film, Mars Hill Farm, Perry Guest Co, Preston Road Church of Christ, Steeplechase Ventures, Trinity Forest Club

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