By Matthias Armstrong
For almost a year ACA has been helping with The Father’s Heart Street Ministry to tackle the problem of homelessness and people in need around Oregon City, but our contributions and involvement are just beginning.
Many people at ACA are unaware of our involvement with the Father’s Heart Street Ministry but this amazing story and cause deserves the attention of everyone at ACA, organizers say.
The Father’s Heart Street Ministry or TFH for short is a faith based organization dedicated to helping those in need within Oregon City and wherever they can. They provide up to 6,000 meals a month to people to try and alleviate hunger, and in times of extreme weather like snow, they open their doors overnight and shelter over 40 homeless people to keep them warm and dry. They also help give these people new opportunities by helping them find jobs and homes so that they can live a better life.
Two people who have been very involved with ACA and TFH Jilene Modlin and Mary Coleman have expressed their opinion on the work TFH is doing. “I think it’s amazing, and I think we need more of it.” comments Mary Coleman a teacher at ACA. When asked about her hopes for the future regarding ACA’s involvement, Jilene Modlin explained, “ I’d like for as many students as possible to be able to be involved in it so that it doesn’t become something that is just a small clique of people there doing the whole thing.” She explains further about how she would love to be able to connect students that have lots to people who live their lives on basically nothing, and how that would be an eye opening experience for many.
How did ACA get involved with such an amazing organization?
During the teacher’s Christmas party last December, the teachers and staff had the idea to collect items donated by people throughout the school and create kits that consisted of many essential items such as food, socks, hats, gloves, soap, water, etc. They then took these kits and gave them to the Father’s Heart Ministry to distribute among people in need. The people involved realized how amazing it was to be able to help these people that they decided to try and help out every month with bringing in meals and other consumable items. Now on the fourth Thursday of every month for ten months out of the year ACA brings in hot homemade soup and fresh fruit to the ministry to feed the homeless and impoverished people of Oregon City.
The office manager and night shelter manager, Jennifer Manning, during an interview was asked what motivated her to do this work she merely responded with the daily experience of being able to help someone in need. She explained, “Victory, victory is when I’ve helped someone get a birth certificate out of state and then they get a job that is motivation, and I live every day for that.” She talks about how the key to fighting this problem is just getting involved. As a society, as a school, and as a person even small contributions make a world of difference for those people in need.
At ACA we are getting involved with this problem and we are fighting it with one packed lunch and pot of soup at a time, but it could always be expanded upon. All it takes is for a student, family, or teacher to step up and get involved to change someone’s life.
You can help too. At ACA we have donation boxes for consumable items such as socks and gloves as well as sign up sheets to bring in your own hot home cooked meal or other food items, or you can visit their website and get involved yourself.
“We can’t solve all their problems but we can certainly make today better than yesterday.” Teri Gant the founder of The Father’s Heart Street Ministry, December 1st 1948 – January 12th 2017.
Clackamas County. “Community Impact Awards: Teri Gant.” Youtube, speaker, Teri Gant, 17 Aug 2014, youtu.be/RIphUAdX6FI.
Coleman, Mary. Personal interview. 16 Oct 2018.
Manning, Jennifer. Personal Interview. 18 Oct 2018.
Modlin Jilene. Personal interview. 4 Oct 2018.
The Father’s Heart Street Ministry, accessed 18 oct 2018, www.tfhstreetministry.com/ .