By Board Member Mark Hedlund
Sean was out on the streets with nowhere to go.
He's a young adult who moved out here from his Florida home to stay with his father. Unfortunately, it didn't work out and his father would no longer let him stay. With few resources and little knowledge of surviving on his own without shelter, Sean was then victimized by having his backpack and cell phone stolen. The first glimmer of hope came when he learned about Elk Grove's Winter Sanctuary.
Sean was a grateful guest for several nights. Our volunteers gave a listening ear, letting him know we'd do what we could to help. In the meantime, we assured him he would have several weeks of being confident in the knowledge that every night, he’d have a safe, warm place to stay and a hot meal.
As quickly as he came to our doors, Sean was gone. Volunteers were concerned. But he left a note tucked into the door jam at our intake center, the Elk Grove United Methodist Church.
Sean wrote that he was finally able to make contact with his sister. She agreed to come get him and pay for his ticket back to Florida where he would be reunited with his mother. He wrote that he left behind his own sleeping bag at Impact Community Church, which was hosting that week, saying, "You can give it away to anyone who needs it."
"I am very thankful, and my heart goes out to all of your staff and the new friends I made here," wrote Sean. "Thank you soooo much for everything you’ve done and God bless!!!"
Many of our guests have long term needs for shelter. Some, like Sean, only need a boost for a little while. In either circumstance, our volunteers realize that a little kindness can have great impact on those in need.