Dégagé’s goal is to assure that every man and woman who we serve knows that he/she is not alone. Many hardships exist in life and none of us are exempt from them. For those we serve at Dégagé, many of whom are homeless and low-income, the hardships can be overwhelming—loss of shelter, loss of employment, loss of a loved one, loss of control and loss of opportunity. And with these hardships, they lose much more. Many feel unworthy and hopeless, especially after society has looked down upon them or they have been rejected after repeatedly trying to move forward on their own.
At Dégagé, we firmly believe, and have proven through our programs since 1967, that there is a significant difference in a person’s likelihood of success if they have someone to walk alongside them during a crisis or through a transition. This happens in many ways at Dégagé such as providing a needed service, greeting a patron by name, or holding someone accountable. Without the critical programs at Dégagé, many men and women would not know where to turn, what steps to take next or how to find the motivation to take those steps. We believe that just because a person is in poverty does not mean they need to lose their dignity or hope. Therefore, we strive to only do for others what they can not do for themselves by limiting one way giving, empowering instead of enabling and giving voice to those we serve.
For these reasons, we walk alongside our patrons knowing that God works through people and community to bring light to a broken world. We do this in many ways:
- By building relationships and providing a safe place where all are welcome. Every day 400-500 people use our services.
- By providing for immediate needs such as food, hot showers, prescription co-pays, a mailing address, storage for belongings and overnight shelter for women.
- By walking alongside and affirming individuals as they navigate obstacles and work toward housing, jobs, sobriety, health, and independence.
- By recognizing that individuals gain dignity when they contribute and by creating ways for everyone to do so.
- By responding to gaps in services and needs in our community.
- By reflecting Christ’s love in action and word.