Potter’s House Report April 2018

Thanks to your continued, generous support, Potter’s House was able to provide $25,050 worth of financial assistance, bikes, and food to the homeless and working poor in April. We served 502 lunches, conducted 199 interviews, and supplied 318 households at Fresh Food Wednesdays. Jennifer Vaughan, Director of Potter’s House Ministries, has been meeting with the leaders of the Housing Resource Center (HRC) in Virginia Beach, a facility designed to provide homeless families and individuals a place to get back on their feet. Some of the highlights are:

  • Transportation to and from the HRC is being planned
  • Move in for the offices (Human Resources, PATH, Day Support Center, Health Clinic, etc.) is planned for June
  • There will be 49 beds for single homeless and 10 rooms (40 beds) for families (Winter Shelter has an average of 65-70 each night)
  • There are 29 one bed units for Permanent housing

Reasons for needing assistance this month included:

  • Laid off from work, started new job but got behind on rent
  • Daughter and grandchildren have come to live with her and she is behind on water bill
  • Husband on disability and also taking care of her father
  • Hospitalized and unable to work
  • Elderly with disability and rent increases are more than Social Security increases


Financial Peace University

At the beginning of 2018, we offered the Financial Peace University (FPU) Class here at Virginia Beach United Methodist.  Our class just ended in March with 16 participants and 4 facilitators. 

Dave Ramsey’s nine-week course, Financial Peace, highlights budget challenges early in the class when he encourages participants to “live like no one else, so you can later live like no one else.” Classmate Lee defined the challenge as “making sacrifices that few in our society are willing to make over an extended period of time” and concluded that “if you stay the course, you come out way ahead.”

Rachel, another classmate, is grateful for the “useful cash flow plan” which “has given me a boost in my confidence and enhanced my feeling of being in control of my finances. I have begun to teach my daughter what I am learning in an effort to assist her in creating her future financial wealth.”

Seldom do we have an opportunity to sit in a classroom with folks ranging in age from 20-something to 70-plus- something to discuss a common problem: our financial futures. How encouraging to be able to do so knowing we are not alone in our journey. All of us acknowledged, rather embarrassingly at times, the poor choices we had made in the past. Rather than be discouraged, though, we found good-humored Dave Ramsey to be a champion of specific steps to get our family finances on the road to a more peaceful conclusion. Anyone, whether 20 or 70, who is looking for a great structure for family finances will benefit from this important course. To quote the famous chess master Charles A. Jaffe, “It’s not your salary that makes you rich; it’s your spending habits.” This class will not teach you how to become rich, but it will teach you how to save and spend wisely.

Rachel’s sentiment is one shared by all the participants: “Thank you to VBUMC and our talented instructors for providing this class and giving us tools to grow and become better stewards of the resources that God has given us.”

– Dee Swanson, VBUMC Member

Below are some insights from the participants, in case you are thinking about taking an FPU class in the future:

Did you experience any God-moments or have insights about how your beliefs can/do influence your financial life?

handle money save money

  • Always – without God, I cannot imagine
  • I gave direct to the church for the first time
  • The ability to give more by managing and getting rid of debt; I have more to give by paying off mortgage
  • Stewarding my finances in a way that is pleasing to God and allows me to leave an inheritance to my children
  • Underscored the necessity of always tithing

 What one concept or insight from this class was most helpful to you?

  • Insurance (cancer)
  • Monthly budgeting
  • Benefits of working and saving for college
  • Getting out of debt and evaluate insurance coverage
  • Live life now in a mindful way so I can enjoy life later on
  • Dave says, “Children should not start their lives at their parents’ level. (Social/Economic)

“Every person’s financial situation is unique depending on their choices in life.  We all relate!  I learn something new every time we offer the course.”  – Joanne Griggs



Faith-Based Women’s Retreat 2018

101 women attended the annual Women’s Retreat this year on March 9-11 at the Ramada Plaza at Nags Head, NC. Many women said they liked making new friends, bonding with wonderful Christian women, sharing thoughts and fears, and just having time away to focus on being a child of God. One of the main take-a ways was that everyone is dealing with some type of journey, everyone has troubles, and we are all the walking wounded. One attendee said, “The important thing to remember is that each person is placed in my life for me to connect with God. God works through community, and that can be anywhere and anytime.”

Other women commented:

Women's Retreat 2018 group

  • “The women’s retreat was a wonderful time to check out of my agenda and check (totally) in with God. It was such a special weekend with an unforgettable message from Rhonda Vandyke. Buen Camino!” – Jenny Davis, 1st Time Attendee
  • “I had never attended a women’s retreat, and I admit that I felt slightly nervous.  Once I arrived, listened, learned, and prayed, I no longer felt nervous.  Our speaker was dynamic and offered many spiritual insights.  I left the retreat with a certain peace and feeling even closer in my faith.”  – Carol Buckler

We offer this Women’s Retreat every spring, so check back here this fall for Spring 2019 dates and information!

Potter’s House Report March 2018

Potter’s House at Virginia Beach United Methodist provides services to the homeless, the working poor, and those in crisis situations, who are residents of Virginia Beach. Assistance is available for Rent, Utilities, Birth Certificates – Domestic and Foreign, State of Virginia ID Card, Personal Hygiene Items, and Bicycles and Bicycle Repair (proof of minimum of 2 weeks employment required to obtain a bicycle). Clients are eligible for financial assistance once a year.

In March, a total of $3212.90 was spent which translated into $25,547.99 worth of support to our working poor and homeless population:

Potter's house sign at Virginia Beach United Methodist

  • 564 lunches were served
  • 356 households were given food feeding 856
  • 277 volunteers participated
  • 340 interviews were conducted

Various reasons for needing assistance were:

  • Laid off due to a sick child and not receiving child support
  • Unemployed for a few months and husband is disabled
  • Ex-husband stopped paying child support
  • Disabled veteran
  • Had stroke in Jan

Please keep these people and others in your prayers.


Potter’s House Report February 2018

The total value of services provided was $43,199.  We conducted 145 interviews for financial assistance, served 580 lunches, and provided food for 626 households at Fresh Food Wednesday. We also received great news that one of our partners will be increasing their annual gift by 50% this year.  They noted, “…(we) found that your work, your demonstrated needs, and our vision to serve others were deeply compatible…you are able to do what we are not, which is properly address the needs presented… and we believe that what you are doing for people in need is important, and we are pleased to partner with you…”

Some of the reasons for needed financial assistance were:

  • In beauty school, has 3 children and had to take in Sister’s 4 children due to her being incarcerated
  • Out of work and behind on rent.  Doesn’t want to break lease that ends in July.  Will find a cheaper place in July.
  • Single Mom lost job and can’t go back to work until after surgery.

Thank you to all those that make this possible!