Miracle Hill’s mission and vision help us define what and how we do ministry to the hurting and lost of Upstate South Carolina. Some aspects of caring for the homeless, lost, and addicted are clearly defined in our organization’s culture. For instance, we provide food to the hungry, beds to the cold and weary, and we share the Gospel with everyone God brings our way. Other aspects such as wholeness, stability, and healthy relationships require us to dig a little deeper to determine what exactly those qualities look like. Over a decade ago, Miracle Hill determined that one of the biggest missing elements in our care model was safe transitional housing for our shelter and program guests.
As our guests become healthier through employment, improved relationships, and financial stability, they often run into a huge roadblock with safe, affordable housing. This issue has gained a fair amount of attention lately as more affordable housing has vanished from the Upstate and few new units are being built. Imagine working tirelessly to fix your broken life, and when you reach a point where you can move out into an independent living situation, there is nowhere to go that you can afford. Or you find that what you can afford is in a high crime area, a recipe for disaster for those overcoming addiction. Early recovery in the wrong area can result in relapse or worse.
Not Meant to Do Life Alone
Not only is the housing shortage a huge issue, but often our guests are not ready to live independently. In our addiction recovery facilities the guests live in an accountability-rich environment for over half a year, and transitioning to independence can be wrought with obstacles. Walking out early recovery with others who are experiencing the same trials and temptations can bring great strength to the individual guest. We were not meant to do life alone, and transitional housing provides additional relational support outside of a guest’s activity inside his or her church body. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 teaches us that “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” And the Bible goes on to say: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
In response to this issue, Miracle Hill has acquired many houses in the Upstate over the years that we operate in an adjusted Oxford Model of housing. This means that these transitional homes are self-governing, so our guests continue to learn discipline and responsibility, but that we also provide continued counseling and support for those walking out of our residential facilities and into their new lives.
I’m Glad I Listened
Eric Turner came to the Overcomers Center on November 20, 2015 after an unsuccessful battle with a ten-year addiction. After completing the program Eric wanted to go home, but instead he decided to listen to his counselor and committed to six months in our transitional housing. Eric successfully completed transition and then moved into a house with another Overcomers graduate. Eric says while in transition he had the opportunity to practice the principles he learned at the Center. He says, “Transition is where I truly learned accountability and responsibility. It was a great way to ease myself back into society; I’m glad I listened to my counselor rather than doing what I wanted to do.”
Eric is now celebrating 28 months clean, has a vehicle, a great job, and is a productive member of society. Eric’s biggest victory has been his relationship with his daughter. Six years ago Eric was told by his daughter’s mother that he would never be able to see her. In January 2018 Eric saw his daughter for the first time after six years. He now talks to her on a consistent basis and has been allowed to see her three other times.
New Transitional Village Under Construction
Currently we are in the process of building eight additional transitional homes for the Overcomers men on the property adjacent to the Center. These three-bedroom houses are beautiful, energy efficient and constructed to provide a place of additional refuge for six men to work toward independence. This village will provide 48 beds for graduates of the program who wish to continue to work on establishing their foundation in Christ in early recovery and remain connected to the Overcomers community while building their way toward independence. If you, your church or your business would like to learn more about this exciting project, please email Ryan Duerk at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Our Mission: Miracle Hill exists that homeless children and adults receive food and shelter with compassion, hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, and move toward healthy relationships and stability.
Our Vision: that each Upstate South Carolina county has adequate and accessible resources for homeless children, women, and men. Compassionate services point individuals to Christ and move them toward wholeness, stability, and healthy relationships.
Post submitted by Ryan Duerk, VP of Adult Ministries and Wade Cason, Transition Coordinator