When you think of homeless shelters, most people’s first thoughts leap to movies and what they’ve seen showcased on their television screens–Bland, cold, run down. Sadly, what people have seen for so many years on movies and television shows aren’t far from the truth in the least.
Terry Grahl visited a homeless shelter for women dealing with drug addictions and domestic violence, Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac, MI. The women who live at Grace Centers of Hope have already had some very traumatic and life-shattering experiences and this shelter provides these women with shelter for them and their children for up to one year. Because of the experiences these women have already had, shelters such as Grace Centers of Hope and so many others across the country are there to lend these women a hand, to assure these women that their lives are not over and to relieve these women of their pasts and teach them to look forward towards a hopeful and promising future. While the mission of these shelters is amazing, the interior most often resembles the emotional deterioration of the women themselves; which is exactly what Terry Grahl thought when she visited Grace Centers of Hope.
As soon as Terry had seen the prison-like beds that these women slept in, the walls and carpets that looked as if they were part of an abandoned building that fell prey to a handful of high school kids wanting a place to party, she knew she had found a project to dedicate her time and talent to. Terry believed that these women deserved so much more, especially considering that Grace Centers of Hope is the “in between” place for these women to start to get on their own two feet and start to make sense of their lives. How were they to make sense of their lives while living in a space that lacked to inspire.
Luckily, not only Terry felt this way, but so did the women who ran this shelter as well as the people who had donated money to be used to revamp the center as well as those who had donated various items such as ceiling fans, air conditioners, washers and dryers, baby cribs, curtains, beauty products, homemade art and so much more. The community surrounding Grace Centers of Hope came together with Terry, the women who run this shelter and the women who find themselves in a shelter that once reminded them of how lost they were, but can now remind them to always have hope, to not look upon themselves as victims and to provide the best life they possibly can to their own children. The women of Grace Centers of Hope can now feel inspired, motivated and hopeful and their surroundings can now uplift them and hopefully, they will never feel the sorrow, loneliness, or feel victimized in any way for the rest of their lives.
To see what Terry and the women of Grace Centers of Hope and the people of Pontiac, MI did to transform this space for the women who live there, click the images below and you can also visit Terry’s website, Terry’s Enchanted Cottage, where she has dedicated a page to The Hopeful Haven Project.
See before and after pictures of Terry’s work at Grace Centers of Hope below: