At Youth-Reach Gulf Coast (YRGC), we have been intentional about making the shift from an organization with more of a group-home feel to a family environment. One of the first steps we took to make this transition was to create a permanent living room and dining room where everyone could gather to eat and fellowship.
Since then, a different family (husband, wife & kids) take a shift every weekend to spend time with the residents. The wives of our staff members spend every Monday with the guys from morning until afternoon. Residents work side-by-side with them to help out with cleaning, gardening and other responsibilities. There’s been a significant improvement in morale and the overall character of the residents here since this started. Building relationships with the staff members wives has created a respect for women and helped promote the family culture we are trying to encourage.
It’s so important to give the young men we serve a concept of what Biblical family looks like and their unique role as a man. Inviting the residents to live in community with us, welcoming them into our homes and our families, is helping to shape their concept of a healthy model for family life.
We’re also intentional about celebrating special occasions such as birthdays and holidays and milestones such as high school graduation.
A question that I often ask myself is, “How can we make this environment more organically look and feel like a family?” We treat the residents as sons, not orphans, and are intentional about the way we do life with them.
If you would like to contribute to the family culture we’ve established here at YRGC, we would sincerely appreciate any donations we could use to purchase sturdy couches to help furnish our living room spaces. Dressers are also needed for resident housing.
As always, thank you for your part in helping our ministry move forward into all that the Lord has for it. Your prayers, time, and donations contribute to every success story that emerges from YRGC.