by Paige K Slighter
Woodland Hills has hosted Project Home for eleven years now, providing emergency overflow shelter space and volunteer support for families in need. Each year has been uniquely different and rewarding but God’s faithfulness has remained the same. This spring, we witnessed many answered prayers through our amazing volunteers and the precious families residing in these four walls. We are continually reminded that love has no boundaries and home is a place we share—heart to heart.
When we first started with Project Home, we hosted for one month. It wasn’t until three years ago, when another host church fell through unexpectedly, that we agreed to two months. We’ve kept March and April ever since, knowing the tremendous blessing God has provided for all involved. Many of the families who walk through our doors are in constant transition. Living under one roof with the same smiling faces for two months ushers in a strong sense of peace and stability. Once familiarity and trust are established, powerful connections are created and significant memories blossom.
This year, we saw many beautiful relationships unfold. Individuals who started out guarded and unresponsive, quickly warmed to our volunteers and began exchanging lively conversation. Kids who began as strangers, quickly became BFFs—no barriers, just love lines. Many of our volunteers fell in love with a twelve-year-old boy with autism who loves hugs. The first weekend in April, he and his mother and sister found a permanent home. Though everyone was excited for them, we were also sad to say goodbye. The big surprise came on Easter when the family stayed after the service to help as Project Home volunteers! They were so impacted by their experience that they wanted to give back and see all their friends again. It was such a beautiful moment.
We are so thankful for all of our rockstar volunteers who contributed their time and skills to this Kingdom work. Many individuals and families went above and beyond their duties. Whether it was putting in overtime, planting Easter eggs, or skipping down to the Gathering Area for movie night, everything was done with overwhelming love.