United Methodists open doors for families without homes


From left, Jennifer, Norma, Elizabeth, Janet, and Amanda are moving their families into private homes and apartments after their stay at Pearl’s Hope, a Circle of Care transitional housing program for women with minor children. At center back is Julia McDonald, director of the program in Tulsa.

Make room in your heart for this story about a housewarming party.

In Tulsa, a gifts shower celebrated the moves of a half-dozen families into homes of their own. That sounds typical.

But these families—women with minor-age children—were homeless before they connected with Pearl’s Hope Transitional Housing, part of the United Methodist Circle of Care in Oklahoma.

The program nurtured them while they lived in cottages on the Frances Willard Ministry Center campus. Now they are equipped to move on, into places of their own.

The come-and-go party April 17 puts an exclamation point on this happy outcome.

Guests represented 15 UM congregations in the Tulsa area, including churches at Broken Arrow, Bixby, and Bartlesville.

Five people from Fort Gibson-First UMC drove an hour to offer their housewarming gifts and well-wishes to the families. A "Welcome Home" cake was made by Ann Swan, a volunteer from The Assembly church in Broken Arrow.

Among gifts the families received were: bedding, bath and kitchen linens, microwave ovens, dishes, cookware, baby items, and toolkits. Washers and dryers are among additional gifts that Circle of Care is seeking to help furnish the families’ new lodgings.

Pearl’s Hope opened in September 2008. Along with transitional housing, the program uses an array of support services to promote self-reliance and financial stability. The concept includes follow-up.

Shelters often accept only women with one or two children, or only with younger children. The design of the cottages on the Tulsa campus enables Pearl’s Hope to waive such limits.

For more information, contact Julia McDonald, 918-583-9506, julia.mcdonald@circleofcare.org.  (www.circleofcare.org)

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