Category Archives: Monthly Updates

November 2020 — Monthly Update: Giving Thanks

“It is important to realize how often we have had chances to be grateful and have not used them. When someone is kind to us, when an event turns out well, when a problem is solved, a relationship restored, a wound healed, there are very concrete reasons to offer thanks: be it with words, with…
Read More →

October 2020 — Monthly Update: Running the Race

I have a confession to make. I am in charge of organizing the 15th Annual Run for Food presented by Golden Valley Bank and I am not a runner. I am not a racer. I actually hate running. It hurts! The good news is that I am working with a seasoned team to put this…
Read More →

September 2020 — Monthly Update: Transition

Here we are in the last days of summer: Autumn is quickly approaching. Last month, I referred to this as the year of the unknowns, but it could just as easily be called the year of transitions! In our community I can see examples of efforts supporting transition and it excites me. Some transitions are…
Read More →

June 2020 — Monthly Update: Change

As I write this letter, my weather app reports alarming wind changes today: 15 mph ssw; 17 mph sse; 16mph s... and so it goes all day. One direction; then the other. Cloudy. Sunny. Really windy. I can’t figure out when to take a walk, when to garden, or whether just to go back to…
Read More →

April 2020 — Monthly Update: Our Response to COVID-19

It is hard to believe that Butte County, this time in company with the entire world, is facing another monumental crisis. I sense around us both a certain “game face” mentality and an equal amount of exhaustion. How much more can we take? And yet we soldier on. We listen to the news from the…
Read More →

March 2020 — Monthly Update: Who Are “The Homeless”

Who are the folks we lump together as “the homeless?” It seems that if we could unpack this question, we might grow in our understanding and change the way we think about the issues facing our city. I try to help others (and myself) by first seeing them more like God might see them, as…
Read More →

February 2020 — Monthly Update: What is Love?

This is the time of the year where we get all sorts of answers to that question. It may be easy to get overwhelmed with the suggestion that love is candy, teddy bears or sparkly diamonds. But I’m convinced that Valentine’s Day is about more than the gift being given, it serves as an opportunity…
Read More →

December 2019 — Monthly Update: Hope.

My husband, Greg is a professor at Chico State. He is well trained, well prepared and really cares about his students’ learning. Yet, sometimes it seems his students just aren’t interested. Instead of reading the assignments, they get lazy with their preparation and simply “Google” a topic. The information they gather ends up in their…
Read More →

November 2019 — Monthly Update: We Were Made for This

Whenever someone asks me about something that happened in the last year, I apologize immediately and declare that I don’t remember any date since November 8, 2018. Yes, the Camp Fire here in Butte County changed everything. I do remember that day and the days of darkness that followed, when we would huddle each day,…
Read More →

October 2019 — Monthly Update: Deeply Rooted

I love trees. Their towering presence feels like protection, with their strong roots deeply planted into the ground that provide for them to stand sturdy, but with the amazing ability to flex and sway when needed. Trees are part of an elaborate system that we rely upon for clean, fresh air to breathe. And trees…
Read More →

September 2019 — Monthly Update: It Takes a Community

We continue to be in a season of both trauma and recovery from the largest fire in California history in our community. Sometimes the trauma can seem to be overwhelming and even discouraging, while people struggle to imagine a life on the other side. Even for service providers like the Jesus Center who for nearly…
Read More →

August 2019 — Monthly Update: Happy Birthday House of Hope

I am often asked to describe the work that is being done at the Jesus Center and there are lots of terms you’ve heard me use, evidence-based, person-centered, or best practices. But in a recent conversation about our staffs work, I was struck by the word nurture. As a verb, nurture means to care for…
Read More →

July 2019 — Monthly Update: The Complexity of Housing

Early on in my time as Executive Director, people routinely suggested that the best and only solution to homelessness was housing. Seems simple enough. And in fact, the federal government has invested a great deal of their funding into a method called Housing First. As a result, many exemplary programs nationwide are focused on getting…
Read More →

June 2019 — Monthly Update: The Disease of Addiction

At the Jesus Center, we serve a population whose rate of addiction—as high as 38% according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, a modest estimate in my opinion— is 25% higher than the estimated national average of 10%. Here, my staff and I hear stories from Jesus Center participants about how they first got…
Read More →

May 2019 — Monthly Update: March Showers Bring April flowers

How many times have we all heard the phrase, “April showers bring May flowers?” To be fair, the more accurate saying in Butte County this year would probably be “March showers bring April flowers.” Either chronology suggests a month of new life bursting forth, blooming in all directions; a month of fresh apricots, cherries, rhubarb,…
Read More →

April 2019 — Monthly Update: Kinship is Messy

Last week, as I was walking to my car in the parking lot of the Jesus Center at the end of the day, Nancy,* one of our longtime participants who uses a wheelchair, was being rolled out of the dining room doors into the parking lot by Kelly.* They were furiously screaming at one another…
Read More →

March 2019 — Monthly Update: Marching On!

More good news from the Jesus Center! This month, I’d like to tell you the stories of two men, both named Frank.  The first Frank was learning how to smoke cigarettes around the time most children are learning their ABC’s. In fourth grade, he began using meth after a family member taught him how to…
Read More →

February 2019 — Monthly Update: The Likes of Us

Take a minute to read the note to the right if you haven’t already. A Jesus Center participant wrote it on a napkin at breakfast and handed it to one of our meal volunteers last week. When I first read it, I was touched—and at the same time, I was heartbroken. “The likes of us.”…
Read More →

Registration is open for the 15th annual Run for Food Presented by Golden Valley Bank. Register by November 1st to guarantee yourself a Run for Food long-sleeved shirt.

Register Now