Places We Have Called Home In 2019

Home Is Where We Park It:   UMOM New Day Centers, Phoenix 

Dec 5, 2019

Temperature 65 Degrees

Two Important Parts of the UMOM Program

Tis the Season to Give Gifts

Team Night Out

No big breakfast this morning.  Two teeth out and I couldn’t really eat much of anything.  Not to fear, I’ll make it up sometime later today.

Let me introduce you to our team.


In the very front we have Robin and Carry, fulltimers.  Back row, from left to right:  Barbara and myself, fulltimers; Steve and Jean;  Keith and Kris; Anton and Sandy, fulltimers; Mark and Debbie, fulltimers.  It’s a great group to be a part of.

I want to share with you two important parts of the UMOM program.  The whole theme of UMOM is breaking the cycle of homelessness.  One way they accomplish this is



through the Helpings Cafe.  The Cafe runs a program called Homegrown Training.

10th Cohort Graduates from Homegrown Program at UMOM New Day Centers

As a part of the Homegrown Training, students learn and follow the Starbuck’s Barista curriculum. Once they have completed their six-week training, they are certified Starbucks Baristas. This provides another hands-on track with the potential of job opportunities.


Graduates then move to the next part of the program which is the Employment Center.  The UMOM Workforce Development Team works with each Homegrown graduate to prepare a resume’, attend job fairs, incorporate job search strategies and provide interview training. With the added services of UMOM’s Employment Center, the Center is truly focusing on securing a successful source of income for clients –  thus breaking down one more barrier to ending their homelessness.

It’s a privilege to be volunteering for an organization that is actively working on so many levels to end the problem of homelessness in this area.

Our day began in the usual way.


Each morning we gather together for morning devotions and prayer.  Each of us is asked to lead a given morning if we feel comfortable doing so .  It might be a commentary on a passage of Scripture, a poem or other reading that is special to the person presenting that day, or a story about their own life that is special in some way.  This is followed by a time of prayer wherein we lift up the joys and concerns of the team as well as many others.

At the end of devotions and before we go to work we share what we have accomplished to date and receive assignments for the day ahead.

Today was all about toys.







This, I am told by those who have been here in the past, is just the tip of the iceberg.  For the next two weeks donated toys will continue to come in by the pallet load.  The way it works is thus:  each case worker is given a list of toys the children of their families would like receive at Christmas.  List in hand they come here to shop.


Our job is to sort through the toys that come in and put them in the proper place.  They are sorted by age, the type of toy, etc.  Barbara on the move.


  Debbie is working on arranging toys on one table.


Here’s a tub full of Hot Wheels, My Little Pony and all other kinds of toys.


Anton and Sandy going through the tub and sorting the toys.


Their work resulted in a box full of Hot Wheels cars.


Debbie and Kris working on sorting another table of toys.


It’s not just toys.  There are clothes of all shape and size.  Barbara working on one table sorting shirts by size.


Jean and Debbie working on another table.


Jean doing her version of the new break dance craze, Break That Bubble Wrap!


There are blankets that will be given to families in need.


Steve bringing in another pallet full of donated blankets.

That was our morning.  After lunch we returned to this.



Piles of wrapped presents prepared by case workers that will be given to their families on Christmas.


Our job was to take everything that was there and move it all to this room.  Once here we were to place each bundle under the name of the respective case worker.

That was day four, Period Sixteen.

This being Thursday, tradition said it was time to go out for supper as a team.

Image result for wong chinese phoenix

Not much to look at.  Yet the food is fantastic and the size of the portions is out of this world.  Everyone, almost without fail leaves with part of their supper in a box.

We are now at the end of our day on The Road of Retirement.  Once again we accomplished all that was assigned to us.  We then ended the day with some great fellowship around the dinner table.  Days like this are so precious and so fantastic.  We wouldn’t trade our life for any others.

Thanks again for coming along with us today.  We so appreciate your company and your comments.  Catch you tomorrow.

These are the voyages of  Graybeard and it’s two intrepid travelers.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before

See you on down the road!


  1. What you, Barbara and your friends are doing is so selfless. Think of all the lives you have touched and will touch. You’re making a difference. Thanks for sharing.


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