Courage and resilience are the words that describe 2022 at Dégagé Ministries. We found strength in Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you.” At Dégagé, both patrons and staff experienced God and our community with us in the midst of many challenges.
Rising inflation rates brought more women into shelter than any previous year. At the beginning 50 years, we have been blessed to help hundreds of people find a home. At the beginning of 2022, there were 50 women in shelter. By the end of the year, there were 105.Many of these women were facing homelessness for the first time and one third of them were over the age 60. Inflation also hit the ministry hard as supplies, utilities, and food costs skyrocketed.
At the beginning of 2022, we cared for 50 women and men in the COVID isolation center and experienced a critical staff shortage due to the virus. Throughout the year, both patron staff grew weary as the pandemic continued to take its toll.
Due to supply shortages and several complications during our building renovation, we faced a second full year of construction. Both staff and patrons felt weary living and working in new spaces with constant dust and water leaks.
While facing these difficulties during 2022, both the patrons and staff showed incredible courage and resilience. Despite a record low housing vacancy rate, we were able to directly to assist 81 women to achieve housing. We were also able to launch our Close to Home program in September of 2022 with a cohort of 7 women, all of whom are now housed. We were able to expand our dining program to 3 meals per day and expand our shelter capacity to 120, so that no one was turned away.
When God called staff to serve more people and deeper needs, they answered that call with tremendous grace. Our community also answered the call and supported us with financial gifts to meet the increased needs, and held donation drives for much needed supplies. We were blessed beyond measure. We experienced the words of Joshua 1:9 and we experienced God and our community with us.
As we enter another year of ministry, we thank you for partnering with us in this critical work. We invite you to continue in partnership alongside us as we all serve God’s call to love one another.