letter from Gregg Kennard
"To whom much is given, much is required." - Jesus
From the view of a pastor of a mission-minded church and the executive director of a program whose agenda is to lift those in need.
Everyone has a part to play in the solution of social problems: homelessness, domestic violence, etc.
Our philosophy at NSPIRE Outreach (and Hope for Domestic Violence) is to hold the haves and have-nots both responsible for what they can do to participate in the solution. We ask those who have for their gently used clothing and occasionally for monetary donations and then we convert that generosity into opportunity for the have-nots. The best society can offer is a bonafide opportunity in most situations. We then through our program process hold our participants personally responsible for working, going to school, attending professional counseling, life skills training which includes financial literacy facilitated by a banking professional and much more in a "teaching to fish" experience. We pay most of the cost through income subsidized by your donations and they pay a very affordable program fee that gives them a sense of ownership as well as allows us to help more people at a time. This is neither exploitation, nor enabling, but empowerment.
Our country is grappling with how to help those truly in need without breaking our economy through abuses in entitlement programs. There are people who if given a chance to work and pay their way, will jump at the chance, despite a felony background, a mental health issue, or a lack of education. NSPIRE programs do the hard work of giving those who sincerely want to change that chance. 2/3rds of the folks we encounter complete this program and go on to be producers in our society. 1/3 do not make it largely because of drug and alcohol relapse, mental health issues, security and safety risks, or will not commit to work. We believe that that good news is this: 2/3rds succeed.
It's not always fun, it's not ever easy, tough decisions have to made and tough love has to be expressed, but we are committed as a faith community to be good Samaritans and to get involved on a deep level. It's complicated, it's often misunderstood, but those who really know the complex layers of these issues and who really know us as an organization know the value of what we bring to the community.
We celebrate the real heroes and she-roes, and that is the men, women and families who are willing to dig deep and make a change...these are the clients and graduates of NSPIRE Outreach and Hope For Domestic Violence.
Thank you for your support.
In earth as it is in heaven,