The Vision of House of Refuge Sunnyslope (HRS) is:
Through the power and love of Jesus Christ, we encourage, equip, and help transform individuals into the men and women that God intended them to be.
Wandena “Dena” Walker’s “life transformed” story epitomizes our vision.
Dena found us on the Internet back on September of 2015. She was homeless, on parole and hopeless. Having been in and out of prison since she was in the juvenile system at 16 years old. Her life revolved around drugs. She was caught up in a vicious circle that she couldn’t get out of without help.
“I thought I’d be on the run for the rest of my life.”
She didn’t think she would get into the program. She came in, interviewed with our then Women’s Program Manager, Lisa, and filled out the application. What Dena didn’t know was that both Lisa and Julie, our Executive Director, would “pray her into the program”.
“I didn’t know God. I knew there was a God, but I didn’t know Him personally.”
Her transformation begins…
When she moved into House of Promise Sunnyslope (HPS), our house for single women, she says if felt surreal. It got her off the streets.
She struggled to find a job because of her prison record and she’d never held a job before! She persevered and was hired at Wendy’s, a job she held for a year. (Residents have to be working within 30 days of entering the program. The program fees start accruing when they move in and they have to pay us back once they find employment.)
She soon got her driver’s license and became a recipient of our car program.
As part of both women’s programs, residents must attend Bible studies and life-skill classes 2 nights a week. At first, Dena wasn’t “into” the Bible. But with the guidance and encouragement of the Bible study leader and Lisa, Dena was baptized in November 2016 at Living Streams Church.
“It felt so good to do that!”
After Dena had been in the program for a while, she showed trustworthiness and got the job of Night Manager at House of Promise. In this paid position she was able to save money.
“God gave me stuff that He knew I could handle.”
Called to serve…
Dena now works full-time at Community Bridges as a Crisis Navigator.
“I am able to help people who society considers dysfunctional.”
She travels all over the Valley visiting hospitals, other ministries and agencies to enroll homeless and hurting people into the program. She helps clients get their IDs, go to appointments, enroll for health insurance — whatever their needs are. Each “client” works with a team of Crisis Navigators, social workers and coaches. Each team works with several clients for 2 weeks. Whatever the person’s situation, they don’t turn anyone away, but try to find the right place that can help them with their situations.
“I’m set out to know God better and have a relationships with Him.”
About House of Promise
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:6
Women can remain in the House of Promise Sunnyslope Program for up to 16 months as long as they follow the rules and regulations and they show a steady progression to reach their goals and become self-sufficient.