Hope Endures – An invitation to Journey with Us from Breakthrough’s CEO

Today is a good day.

That’s what I told myself when I woke up this morning. I had the sense that the day was full of promise. Surely it would prove to be a nourishment to me and those I work with, and would ultimately show some progress in our mission to help others.

What wasn’t so clear, was how the morning felt for those we serve.

Was today going to be better than yesterday? Were their basic needs met? I could guess that not all were so fortunate. I was preparing to step into the reality of people’s lives, lives I knew just a little about. But enough to know they were walking with heavy burdens. I knew enough to know that trauma, hunger, substance use, the effects of weather, violence, fear, shame, unchecked impulses, untreated mental illness, and despair might all show up today in our work. And yet, I would also see resilience. I would see problem-solving, adaptability, support systems (even if unhealthy), coping skills, kindness, gratitude, relationships building, and hope.

At Breakthrough, it’s a matter of helping each individual build on what they have available to them.

When we choose to see a strength in someone, it’s a place to start the journey back to recovery, purpose, and health.

Granted, it’s sometimes at the most basic level. The traumatic cycle of poverty can be overwhelming.

Breakthrough Clubhouse is also one of those places where strengths are valued. Today, I knew I might see someone struggling through their day. I might see someone grappling with a relationship that was frayed. I would also see confidence, friendship, people motivated to give back, and…. hope.

Friends and others instinctively know that helping someone recover from the effects of isolation and hopelessness is one way we build community together.

You can be a bridge to recovery with your donation.

Please send your gift today.


The Rev. Andy Houltberg, CEO

Breakthrough CEO Rev. Andy Houltberg smiles at the camera. He is wearing a great sweater with a blue shirt underneath.
Homeless man is dressed warmly, he's looking straight at the camera, while eating from a takeaway box during a food handout event.

Seth was in an abusive relationship and soon found himself on the street with no home and no resources – little education, no regular job, no family in the area, and his only mode of transportation was the bus.

Without those things, he had nothing to draw from in order to support himself. By attending our life-skills class, and with our support, he learned what it is to make healthy choices, practice problem-solving in his own way, and begin to overcome trauma.

He’s starting over at the age of 42 with a new job and a safe place he can call his home.

Silver haired woman on crutches holds a bowl up during a community meal. She is smiling brightly.

Sarah’s story isn’t so unusual. She was blessed with a college education, the intelligence to manage a demanding academic life, and a promising career as a nurse.

But she found her life spiraling into chaos shortly after graduation.

After years of confusion about her mental health and finding herself living in a motel isolated from her family, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Becoming a part of the Clubhouse community helped her put her life back together.

Sarah’s most revealing comment was, “My heart doesn’t hurt anymore.