June 2015 Executive Director Update

Dear Friends,

“HUM is a gift from God so we get a chance to mend our lives and our relationships with others we have hurt in the past”. These are the words of Michael Knighton in our feature story but reflect the feelings of the 500 men who are in one of our programs here at HUM – particularly the 300 men in our one year residential spiritual recovery program who are struggling to overcome poverty, homelessness and addiction.

Read Michael’s story and you will get a feel for how many people in our communities become chemically dependent and lose control of their lives, their relationships and now live on the streets of our City. People don’t just decide to become drug addicts. It happens in various ways.

It is true, we are responsible for our actions and we are the result of our life experiences and some of those experiences open us up to tragic outcomes that shape our future. If we could walk perfectly in the shoes of another human being we would understand perfectly why people are where they are in their lives.

Here at HUM, we understand and have empathy for the human condition. We care deeply for the fallen in life and help them up. We believe, “but for the grace of God there go I”.

Thank you for your part in helping people up who are in life crisis. Your gifts provide HUM, which is a life saving gift for 500 men and their families. Please know your help is needed now and throughout the summer months.

God bless you all.

Robert K. Gehman Executive Director

May 2015 Executive Director Update

Dear Friends,

HUM is a gift of life to many men like Wayne (see the Feature story) who struggle with life threatening chemical addictions, poverty and homelessness. Many of the 500 men in residence will say, “HUM has saved my life.”

When you give to HUM, without a doubt, you are saving and changing the lives of those in need. Your giving is truly an act of love because you are requiring nothing in return and giving life to those who are on a path that leads to hospitals, jails and an early grave. Many family members who have lost their loved ones so wish they had had the opportunity to be at a place like HUM and begin a journey of hope instead.

Your financial gifts this month will provide help and life-saving services for approximately 48 new men (12 per week) who will arrive at HUM in great need of the help we provide. On their behalf, thank you for your loyalty, faithfulness and compassion to those in need here at Helping Up Mission.

Thank you,

Robert K. Gehman Executive Director

April 2015 Executive Director Update

Dear Friends,

Twelve new men arrive at Helping Up Mission (HUM) every week requesting help and an opportunity to enter to our one-year residential Spiritual Recovery Program.

Their bodies, minds and spirits are painfully tired from living on the streets in active drug addiction for so many years.

Many men speak of a spiritual emptiness that can even be more painful than the physical. It comes from being disconnected from God, family and society. Homeless men experience deep loneliness and despair and often think of suicide and some attempt it. Drug addiction and homelessness is a hard life with hospital visits, jail and often an early grave.

Miraculously some 600 men find their way to HUM each year. Hospitals, jail mates, parole officers, word of mouth from friends, and churches all participate in directing men to HUM. I can’t prove it, but some stories are so unusual that I think God simply hears the call of a despairing person and sends an angel with a message.

Your prayers and gifts enable HUM to be here when the men arrive. You make help possible! Like Jesus, we can offer a similar invitation to his, “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads and I will give you rest”. HUM is a place where 500 men are finding rest for their weary bodies, minds and spirits. In that rest, they are able to find God, unite with family and start a new meaningful way of living life without chemicals.

When you give to HUM you are truly a Good Samaritan and saving human lives, changing human lives, and making our Baltimore communities a better place for all.

Thank you,

Robert K. Gehman

March 2015 – Executive Director Update

Dear Friends,

Be sure to read Terrance’s story. His life story is not unique among the 500 men in residence at HUM. As you read it, imagine how as a HUM supporter, you are helping to save and transform someone’s life, every day of the week.

We keep using the phrase “saving and transforming lives” over and over, at the risk of it becoming old. But when you see the human face, and hear first-hand the story of one who was near death, and is now full of life, the phrase “saving and transforming lives” becomes fresh with meaning again. It seems to be the best way to describe the miracle.

Terrance was feeling so much emotional pain that he tried to take his own life. Today he feels fortunate and incredibly blessed to be alive and believes his life has been transformed in a way that he can sustain.

This life transformational change happens every day for hundreds of men dealing with many years of addiction, poverty, and homelessness at HUM, an organization you choose to support. I thank you for your support.

It’s a very simple deduction that, without your support, there would not be a long-term residential Spiritual Recovery Program for 500 men. Without such a program there would be little or no hope for the men we are now serving. Lives that are being saved would be lost.

Your March gifts are needed to provide a transformational Christian culture of faith, hope and love. When men are in such a culture long enough, the presence of Jesus has a spiritual effect that saves men like Terrance. Please give as generously as possible. We are expecting approximately 60 new men, who will enter the program during March. Your gifts will immediately go to work saving and transforming their lives!


Robert K. Gehman Executive Director

February 2015 Executive Director Update

Dear Friends,

Your prayers, gifts and support provide faith-based help for 500 men struggling with poverty, homelessness and addiction. No matter how small or large your investment, it helps men out of deep despair and gets them to that positive faith place where they can withstand the tests of life.

To overcome many years of chemical addiction and to experience a reasonably happy life without drugs requires power greater than that of addiction. That is where faith in Jesus Christ comes in.

The HUM Board of Directors recently approved six core values for all Directors and Staff to live by. First on the list is the affirmation that we are Christian. As such, we are Christ-centered and follow Biblical principles of grace, love and service.

People of all faith and of no faith are in our programs. We do not force faith but we do give all the opportunity to come to know Christ and experience the benefits He can bring into life.

Offering faith is what makes HUM different, in the best of ways, from many other good social organizations. It’s what many homeless and addicted people are looking for and why they come to HUM for help. “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God”, are the words of Jesus. Simply put, the Spiritual man/woman in us all must be fed, or the deepest part of our personality will starve.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and gifts to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the 500 men at HUM.


Robert K. Gehman Executive Director

P.S. Your financial help is greatly needed to care for the needs of 500 men every day during the cold winter months. Thank you for doing what you can!

January 2015 Executive Director Update

Dear Friends,

This Christmas and Holiday Season is a time when your financial gifts take on a special meaning for the men here at Helping Up Mission (HUM). You are making HUM feel like “home for Christmas” for 500 men who need yet another chance at turning their lives around after years of addiction, homelessness and jail.

“Feeling at home,” means living in the HUM ambiance of 15 Christmas trees and hundreds of decorations, listening to Christmas music, enjoying turkey dinners with all the fixings, and loving the conversations with supportive family and friends. All this is happening amidst the grateful awareness of having the opportunity to experience sobriety, living off the streets, and out of jail. It’s an opportunity to learn to live on the narrow path that leads to being reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy in the life to come.

Your gifts during this season of giving are needed to provide an opportunity for men like Bryan Modecki. Read Bryan’s story (page one) and hear of all the good gifts that came to him after he was able to remain steady in his commitment to spiritual recovery. There are so many compassionate people like you who are willing to help others in their effort to change their lives.

Is that not what Christmas is all about…changing lives? Jesus came to save us all from our sins, and he never gives up on the work of saving and helping. Thank God and thank you for giving the HUM men another chance at getting life right and making their future bright!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season to you and the entire HUM family!


Robert K. Gehman Executive Director

October 2014 Executive Director Update

Dear Friends,

For over 20 years, I’ve observed the struggles of the men in our programs. It seems clear to me that when life isn’t working our souls find ways to compensate. Often times, the compensation measures become destructive addictions that seem to work on the short term but in the end bring us an even greater feeling of lifelessness.

Many people reach out for chemicals to medicate the pain of their mental and spiritual anguish.

Unfortunately, life turns into a relationship with chemicals. Over time the relationship becomes all consuming. There is no longer time for anything but chasing after drugs.

The rewards of such a pursuit are poverty, homelessness, crime, jail, physical and mental illness, loss of all meaningful relationships, and ending in total despair.

But thanks to you, and our huge HUM family, we can offer hope through programs that address the individual’s physical, psychological, spiritual and social needs.

Addressing the needs of the whole person (body, mind and spirit) brings new life to men like Tyrone in our feature story.

Thank you for your gifts of prayer, finances, talent and time. Without your regular monthly help, 500 men presently in our programs would be left to wallow in despair. Thanks to you, the men who show up here at HUM every day are given the opportunity to have a reasonably happy fulfilling life without drugs.

Bob Gehman

August 2014 Executive Director Letter

Dear Friends,

Loving your neighbor as yourself is as important as loving God with all your heart, mind and soul. That is what the Bible teaches and that is what we strive to do here at HUM.

One of the places we do that is in our Overnight Guest Services (OGS). Interns in our Spiritual Recovery Program (SRP) care for and love 60 men in our OGS program who are struggling with homelessness. You would be amazed if you could see the level of Christian care your gifts are providing!

I asked the caregivers why our overnight guests choose HUM as a place to spend the night. They said, “We get to really know them, and they feel part of a family”. They also feel safe, they are not around people who get “high” and their possessions don’t get stolen.

When the guests are safe, comfortable, appreciated, and given the time to think and pray, they have opportunity to grow into a new life.

While with us, they consider what they need to do with their lives. Some enter our SRP (see this month’s story). Others find housing, jobs and the necessary encouragement to get out of an old rut and move on.

Your gifts help provide hope for men struggling with homelessness, addiction and mental illness. Thank you so much!

Peace and prayers,
Bob Gehman

May 2014 Executive Director Letter

Dear Friends,

The hope of Spring is alive at Helping Up Mission (HUM)! And you help keep hope alive through the monthly support you give to the 500 men in HUM’s programs. They are not only recovering their lives from destructive addiction, but are discovering a new, reasonably happy life, without drugs.

Ryan Cashman reveals in his story what I think is one of the major challenges for many of the men here at HUM. There are many temptations to leave the Spiritual Recovery Program prematurely. When they yield to that temptation, their chances for real life change greatly diminishes.

With your help, I believe we can keep our men at HUM longer. As we grow in financial strength, we will be able to provide more individual pastoral and spiritual help.

The average length of stay for all the men who enter HUM’s Spiritual Recovery Program is 135 days. Imagine if we can increase that average length of stay to 6 months (180 days)! The spiritual roots of the men will be stronger and the storms of life will not be able to uproot them. Their lives can continue to flourish long after they leave the Mission.

Please send a gift this month. You will keep hope alive for 500 men and their families. Thank you for helping us grow in financial strength so we can provide more men with the spiritual care they need to stay in the program longer and succeed. May your generosity be blessed according to God’s riches!

Robert K. Gehman
Executive Director

February 2014 Executive Director Letter

Dear Friends,

It’s the cold time of the year and here at HUM, we are packed with people needing help.  Our overnight guests are permitted to stay at HUM during the day rather than go out into the cold.  Providing that extra service is the human and Christian thing to do.  But, we do need your help to provide the extra cold weather care needed for the 500 men who are part of our programs here at HUM.

I have been at HUM now for 20 years and I never would have dreamed we would be caring for so many men every day.  But, here we are doing it!   We are able to do it because every year more people help with contributions and we are able to reach further and help more people.  What an opportunity we all have to make a difference for hurting souls but, it’s up to us to seize it every month.

Your cold weather support gifts will provide the warm lodging, hot meals, clothes and a well rounded Spiritual Recovery program. The program meets the individual needs of 500 men going through a life crisis. They cannot make it without our help. But, our helping up work allows them to have a new life with a promising future.

Thank you for the special cold weather consideration as you decide what you can do this month to help.

-Bob Gehman