Looking back at the year 2020 brings many conflicting emotions. The year was a difficult year for many people, and I am sure some reading this letter have faced some hard and trying days. For Restoration Advocates, the year was incredible. We saw God work in miraculous ways to provide the safe haven we had dreamed about and hoped for.
Since opening the shelter in September, the RA Board members have learned some valuable lessons. We have had five women stay with us during that time and through our experiences with those residents we realized we needed to make some changes in our facility.
We realized that we absolutely need laundry facilities on site. The idea of women being able to go somewhere to wash their clothes is not practical, and really not safe. We have taken steps to turn a half bath into a laundry room with a washer and dryer for their use. This requires work of a plumber and an electrician and should be completed before the end of January.
Due to some alarming events, we decided we absolutely must have a security camera. We purchased a doorbell camera security device which is installed. Our WiFi connection was not strong enough to connect the doorbell with our hotline phone, so we have ordered a wifi booster which should take care of that issue. We are also installing motion activated outdoor lights. With these steps, we will now be able to see anyone who approaches the building. The hotline phone will be alerted if the camera shows anyone at the building and we can see the person.
Our experience with the residents showed us that we need a person who will be available most of the time. Some of the women needed almost constant care. They were extremely insecure, lonely, felt isolated, and were easily frightened. Because of that, after a meeting of the Board of Directors, we have decided that I will become the Executive Director. I will retire from my position at Cottonwood Church on January 31 so that I can be more available for RA; to be able to better take care of practical organizational needs, work more closely with our volunteers, but mostly to be on call for the women we are caring for.
We feel that the each of the women we have had as residents has taught us valuable lessons so that we will be better prepared for those God will bring to us in the future. As I look forward to this year, I am filled with gratitude; grateful to God for all that He has done for Restoration; grateful to each one of you who has supported and continue to support our efforts to provide a safe place for women and children who need a place of refuge.