A life reimagined through Shelter Reimagined
Childhood moments such as learning to tie shoes, making forts or relishing a summer ice cream cone on a hot day take us back to a simpler time - a sense of wonder.
For one young girl, a sense of wonder looked different.
In 2010, Josh Guttau, CEO of TS Banking Group, was in a position where heart and policy intersected. A woman from his church had an immediate household financial need. Fortunately, TS Bank was able to quickly help her and her family, including two foster girls. This was the beginning of a story where the heart would win.
Josh and his wife, Shelly, knew the girls through church, but little did they know both girls would eventually join the Guttau family as foster care children just five months later.
While one of the foster children decided to live independently at age 18, Josh and Shelly adopted Shianne, the youngest, in November of 2016. She now is the proud older sister to Joslyn, Dane and Tessa Guttau. Though difficult at times, the experience has filled the entire family’s lives with joy, and they vow that Shianne has given them much more than they have given her.
Since a college missions trip in Kazakstan, Shelly sensed a calling toward foster care and adoption. Though her original intention was to adopt overseas, the child they would one day adopt was living in the United States, only 30 minutes from their hometowns. Josh and Shelly feel impassioned to help spread the word about the increasing need for foster care and to consider giving the gift of a home to children at local shelters, such as MICAH House.
“Love is not divisible, nor additive, but instead is multiplicative,” states Josh.
Josh and Shelly knew Shianne spent some time homeless as a young child with her biological family, and Shianne remembers constantly moving from shelter-to-shelter. Little did they know that Shianne had lived at MICAH House not once, but twice.
In late 2017, Shianne and her father Josh, sharing this connection to MICAH House, decided to co-chair the 2018 Shelter Reimagined campaign.
The MICAH House mission is “to provide a safe and nurturing environment with support services for those experiencing the crisis of homelessness.”
Services include emergency shelter, nutritious meals, employment education, counseling, budgeting and financial classes as well as services to help both individuals and families transition to stable housing.
Last year alone, MICAH House served 857 homeless individuals, fifty-five percent were children.
“It is comforting to know that children who are struggling in the same way I did, have a safe place to go. Children do not choose the life they have been given, and MICAH House provides families an opportunity to get back on their feet,” reflects Shianne.
To witness Shianne’s positive transformation has been both humbling and revealing for Josh.
“It has provided me with profound evidence of how important the foundational building blocks of housing, food, safety and love are for a person’s development in life.”
“These things were a given for me growing up. These building blocks are critical in a child’s journey to a healthy self-esteem and self-actualization,” states Josh. “Financial support years ago to MICAH House was a conduit that helped lead Shianne to a place in which she could make that journey.”
Recently, Shianne received an associate’s degree in psychology from Iowa Western Community College. She plans to pursue additional education at Bellevue University and just moved into her first official place.
“I love to understand people and what issues they may deal with. I want to figure out ways to help them improve their lives,” shares Shianne. “This is why I am going to get my bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in counseling, so I can help people who have gone through hard times.”
The public phase of MICAH House’s Shelter Reimagined campaign is underway with the goal of raising $3.6 million by the end of 2018. Over $2 Million has been raised since the soft launch phase started in April 2017.
The capital campaign’s intent is to increase the capacity of MICAH House while partnering with four other nonprofits to serve vulnerable populations. Partnerships will include: All Care Health Center, Heartland Family Service, Women’s Center for Advancement (WCA) and Youth Emergency Services (YES).
TS Bank is grateful to be part of the MICAH House Shelter Reimagined campaign with a $25,000 pledge. For TS Bank, to partner with MICAH House and help provide the opportunity to break the cycle of homelessness and impact others, just like Shianne, is a true honor.
“I’m not sure where I would be today without resources like MICAH House,” concludes Shianne.
MICAH House will serve more single females, provide more operational space, increase the number of family rooms and house a satellite health clinic through this capital campaign, which willl be impactful for families and the community for generations to come.
For one young girl, MICAH House was pivotal to her life’s journey. Shelter Reimagined will only assist more young children and families in a life reimagined.
For more information about Shelter Reimagined and donor opportunities, please visit www.themicahhouse.org/shelter-reimagined.
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