Shepherd’s Gate Locations
1660 Portola Avenue
Livermore, CA 94551
605 Sycamore Ave
Brentwood, CA 94513
No matter how busy or crazy things can get, I always make sure I spend some time with the children at Shepherd’s Gate. A few weeks ago, when I went to the Afterschool program, I noticed the t-shirt worn by eight-year-old Evie*. It was a pretty pink shirt, with the words “Dream Big” written on it.
I loved the message, so I asked Evie what her dreams were. She thought for a moment, then very seriously replied, “I don’t have a dream.”
The truth is, she’s never been told that she can dream.
In her short life so far, Evie has experienced horrific trauma. She’s seen her dad beat her mom while her mom cried and begged for him to stop. She’s seen things that no child should ever see. Until she came to Shepherd’s Gate, she didn’t know any other type of life.
I talked with Evie about daring to dream for the future and then Evie hesitantly asked, “Could I be a firefighter?” It made my heart fill with joy as I told her that yes, she could be whatever she wanted. And that she can have many, many dreams.
Later that same day, I asked Evie’s mom, Deborah* what her dream was. Deborah has endured years of domestic violence and homelessness. As a child, she was neglected by her parents, and just like Evie, Deborah never thought to have a dream for the future. Until friends like you stepped in.
Deborah is now working on going to college and just received a grant to attend college in the fall. Her dream is to run a nonprofit organization, helping women who experienced the same things she did.
Dreams and hopes for the future are so much a part of most of our lives, we can’t imagine not having dreams. It seems like every day I encounter women and children who’ve lived such difficult lives that they can’t imagine dreaming of a positive future. Part of our work here at Shepherd’s Gate is to help instill hope for the future in the women and children. That hope for a bright future is vital for the life-change that God creates here.
The life-changing care such as shelter, meals, mentorship, life-skills classes and more that friends like you provide is helping Deborah and Evie on their path to healing. They’re finding hope for the first time in their lives – and seeing that life can change.