COVID-19 Regional Response Fund Grantee Spotlight: Finding Grace Ministries
As a survivor of human trafficking, Doreen Page, founder of Finding Grace Ministries, believes people experiencing a crisis–homelessness, abuse or addiction–deserve a safe place to go for refuge. And as the COVID pandemic goes on, more and more people are finding themselves in need of a safe place.
Through partnerships with hotels, Finding Grace Ministries helps individuals and families facing housing insecurity. “We went from providing five hotel rooms monthly to providing 30,” says Doreen about the impact of the virus. “People lose jobs, get kicked out of their homes. We’ve had to expand exponentially to keep up with the demand.”
The St. Louis Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Regional Response Fund helped foot the ballooning hotel bill. “The Community Foundation surprised me with how much support they gave us,” says Doreen. “They believed in us and we grew.”
Amy and Antonio are just one family who received help as a result of the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund. Amy worked in a hospital and Antonio diligently maintained three jobs just to make ends meet. When the pandemic hit, Antonio lost two of his jobs and as a result, the couple was unable to keep up with their bills. They were evicted, and lived in their car for two months, until a family member connected them with Finding Grace Ministries. Some of the Regional Response Funds allowed Amy and Antonio to focus their income on paying off past due bills and eviction, while Finding Grace Ministries helped to secure temporary shelter. Today, they are living in their own housing.
In addition to safe housing, Finding Grace Ministries impacts the deeper issues that bring people into crisis. They work to prevent the exploitation of youth and families. They lend their expertise to other service providers through trauma and crisis intervention training programs, and their drop-in center is a haven for people struggling in unstable circumstances. Overall, they step in to provide families the support they need through the steps of transforming their lives.
“Our philosophy is no matter what, we accept them, no matter what happened, and that’s what a lot of people are missing in their life,” says Doreen.
To learn more about Finding Grace Ministries visit their website at findinggraceministries.org.