By Ashley Stewart For The Herald
EDMONDS — New Heart Place takes in Christian men struggling with drug and alcohol dependency who have completed a treatment program and helps them to develop healthy habits over the course of 12 to 18 months.
Resident directors Pastor Mike Miller and his wife, Rita, live at the 6,600-square-foot Echo Lake home, which houses 10 men they call students. It’s affiliated with Edmonds’ Westgate Chapel.
“This is set up more like a family than an institution or program,” Miller, 52, said. “While I am their pastor, disciplinarian and all that, I act more as a father or guide.”
Each man going through the program is partnered with a man from the congregation who acts as a coach or mentor. Program graduates reunite every quarter for a barbecue or other group activity.
The curriculum-heavy program takes each student through four phases, where he uses Christian textbooks, workbooks and group studies to establish and foster a relationship with Jesus and learn to develop other skills such as proper sleeping habits, exercise and nutrition. Students actively participate in the Westgate Chapel congregation, going to church every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
This week, Westgate Chapel will host its sixth annual Giant Yard Sale to benefit New Heart Place at the church’s parking lot and gym, 22901 Edmonds Way. Proceeds from the yard sale will go toward the program’s operating budget, which supports Miller’s salary as New Heart Place’s only paid employee; house expenses such as mortgage, maintenance and utilities; and fuel costs to transport students 35 miles from New Heart Place to Westgate Chapel three days a week.
“The yard sale helps to make the expenses as low as possible for students,” said Cheryl Zorko, administrative assistant for Westgate Chapel’s regional missions office, which oversees New Heart Place.
The sale will offer donated items from the Westgate Chapel congregation, including clothes, computers, televisions, furniture, exercise and medical equipment, collectibles and lawn mowers. One church member is considering donating a boat and trailer, Zorko said.
“We ask for really nice items, so it’s not like your regular yard sale,” Zorko said. “And when we say giant, we mean giant.”
Last year, the yard sale raised around $12,000. This year’s goal is $15,000.
Funding for New Heart Place does not come from Westgate Chapel’s operating budget. Instead, New Heart Place raises funds through activities and relies on donations for the remainder of costs.
If you go
The yard sale is to be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Westgate Chapel South parking lot and gym, 22901 Edmonds Way, Edmonds.
There is a $5 entrance fee per family from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday.