Our Partner Back on My Feet is Helping the Homeless

Article by  Megan Knight

Running can do more than just get you in shape, it can change your life. Just ask the members of the Baltimore group “Back on My Feet.”

It’s been awhile since Deon Banks did any serious running. The last time he can remember running regularly is during his time in the military.

“I’m a two to three miler kind of guy,” he said with a laugh. “If I can finish that goal in a day, I’ve accomplished something.”

Banks has been with Back on My Feet for a little over a year. The group’s mission is to combat homelessness and help people who may be on the brink of being homeless. Banks found out about the program while at the Helping Up Mission, where he is staying to treat his addiction issues.

Read the Full Article at abc2news

Newsboys lead singer Michael Tait moved to tears when homeless choir sings ‘We Believe’ (video)

Written by Angie Chui. Originally published at ChristianToday.com.

Newsboys lead singer Michael Tait moved to tears when homeless choir sings 'We Believe'

Christian rock band Newsboys has been making using their gift of music to spread God’s word for years now, but when their song was performed by a group of homeless men the band’s frontman Michael Tait was moved to tears.

In the video posted by Meant 2 Live Foundation, the Newsboys lead vocalist and bandmate Duncan Phillips are welcomed to a concert venue by a homeless choir singing their song “We Believe.”

The homeless choir was part of the Helping Up Mission that was treated to a VIP experience at the Splendor concert where the Newsboys were performing and it wasn’t long before Phillips started welling up.

The song speaks of keeping faith in God when we are going through our worst challenges and features the lyrics: “In this time of desperation/When all we know is doubt and fear/ There is only one foundation/ We believe, we believe/ In this broken generation/ When all is dark, You help us see/There is only one salvation/We believe, we believe.”

The performance took on a different meaning when Tait addressed the choir members after their performance and shared his own story with them. One of the singers acknowledged that before they became part of the program, they didn’t have faith.

“We didn’t believe man, we were throwing lives and God loved us,” the man said.

Tait encouraged him to continue on the right path and praised the group for their beautiful performance.

The choir was later treated to a hearty meal and tickets to watch the band perform live to a sell-out crowd.

Our feature in Hopkins Brainwise magazine

Our feature in Hopkins Brainwise magazine

On A Mission To Treat Addictions

Partnership between Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Helping Up Mission program improves the odds for conquering substance abuse in East Baltimore.

At the height of his career, Tom Bond had a prestigious job, a house, a company car and a big salary. But the Harford County native says he never felt fulfilled by his fancy job and soon turned to drugs and alcohol. After losing several good jobs over a dozen years, he began bartending, a lifestyle that supported his addiction to cocaine. Soon he was also using heroin and eventually became destitute and homeless.
Bond found an abandoned house in East Baltimore, where he lived until he got locked up. His cellmate told him about the Helping Up Mission, a nonprofit, faith-based mission that offers a residential addictions recovery program. Bond perked up. “I didn’t want to spend another winter without a shower or a roof over my head,” he says.
Today, 13 years since that encounter, Bond is not only clean, but as director of programs for the mission, he’s helped thousands of other homeless men to reclaim their lives through the shelter’s 12-step recovery program, daily classes, and career and spiritual guidance. And for the past several years, Bond and treatment coordinator Michael Gray—another recovering addict—have shored up the mission’s efforts through a partnership with Johns Hopkins addictions experts, who come to the site daily to provide supplemental care.
Launched in 2012, in response to the mission’s request for Johns Hopkins addictions expertise, the Cornerstone Program merges…

Read the full article in Brainwise, Johns Hopkins’ psychiatry periodical.

Download the PDF version here: Hopkins BrainWise Winter 2016-10

**UPDATE** Check out the video Hopkins produced to accompany the feature article:

Sincerity, HUM-Style!!

This week’s character quality is Sincerity – “Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives.” Well, yesterday we had that character quality play out in a very special way.

Baltimore Oriole Matt Wieters and wife Maria took time from their busy schedules to visit the men and help with the lunch service!  This was a “private” visit, in that the Orioles community relations wasn’t involved, no press or media to tout their community service.  Nope – “Just” Matt and Maria serving…with genuine and SINCERE servant hearts!! Matt offered the prayer for the meal, and they served drinks all men eating (over 350+).

Then, Mike, a program member expressed his SINCERE gratitude by creating a couple pieces of original Orioles art for Matt and Maria.

And wait…there’s more!!  To respect their time and honor their service, not ONE man asked Matt for his autographs (as much as we ALL wanted to), the men showed their SINCERE desire to bless Matt by “flipping the switch” and giving Matt THEIR autographs, which Pastor Gary presented to Matt.

Sincerity, HUM-Style!!

We believe Matt was SINCERE in his heartfelt response, and you can see Matt in that autographed shirt.

Sincerity, HUM-Style!! 1

To show his own SINCERE gratitude for how the HUM family made he and Maria feel welcome and part of the family (which they are!), Matt DID autograph something… Matt became the first Oriole to sign the orange wall of the fitness area of our recreation room.

And his words of encouragement aren’t his own, but found in the wisdom of Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
That’s sincerity played out, HUM-Style!

2015 Banquet Music Videos-HUM’s Got Talent!!

It’s a hard truth that no person is “immunized” from addiction to alcohol or other drugs.  No person is receives a gaurantee that taking a first drink or drug will be “OK” and not lead to the grip of addiction.  The disease of addiction does not discrimate, even as a person may be gifted in many ways.  And so it is with the 500 men who call HUM home!  Giftedness reveals itself in our men in EVERY WAY imaginable – and certainly in the performing arts.

At this year’s banquet, our very own HUM Choir and Band presented inspirational and uplifting music for the audience of 1,500.  And while we wish EVERYONE could attend the banquet each year, it’s just not possible.  BUT!  You can enjoy these video clips of the music – medleys by the choir, and two ORIGINAL songs written/performed by a quintet and a soloist!

These links are to our YouTube channel – along with many other video clips of Mission Life.

Choir Opening Medley – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42LQ1J8M6U0

Quintet (Original Song) “Sinner Man” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATVC7um3Awk

Soloist Jonathan (Original Song) “Hey Jake” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8CsXMmSyOw

Choir Closing Medley – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH0NMuRNwjA

YOU can spread this good word! Share these with your family and friends!!

April 28 – Peace In The Midst Of Chaos

Dear HUM Family,

In the past 24 hours, calls and e-mails are coming to Helping Up Mission (HUM) inquiring about the safety of our men, and offering prayers for protection in the midst of the rioting, looting and fires in Baltimore. While police, firefighters and National Guard are working to bring order to the streets, God has blessed us with a hedge of protection and, thankfully, all is peaceful at HUM. So far, our neighborhood has not had any incidents. And we want you to know that we are taking proper precautions to ensure the safety of our men, staff, volunteers and visitors.

Because of your faithful support, HUM is able to provide several programs and services, most notably our one-year residential Spiritual Recovery Program, for 500 men who are here to get the help they need to overcome their struggle with poverty, homelessness and chemical addictions. Thankfully, because of their faith and the peace of God in their lives, their struggle to overcome is not being waged through destructive means. Rather, they are feeding their lives with positive, life-transforming ingredients and helping one another achieve their life recovery goals in a true spirit of brotherly love, compassion, and kindness.

Here in our Historic Jonestown neighborhood, where HUM is located, the crime rate is low in comparison to other places within the city – and it is no different today. The streets are kept clean, and peaceful. This is because of the daily work and presence of the HUM men who are committed to giving back to the community. The contrast is striking – the chaos of the trouble spots in the city and the orderliness of HUM.

All of us at HUM – staff, volunteers and program members are joining all of you in a prayer chain for reconciliation and peace for our beloved city.

May our Heavenly Father grant us all His Grace and Peace!

Robert K. Gehman, Executive Director