Providing Help and Hope for Homeless Women and Children
The face of homelessness in America is changing. Instead of the stereotypical disheveled middle-aged man with a bottle in a bag, the typical homeless person today may be a young woman with a baby in her arms and a toddler at her side.
KRM ministers to these women and children through Open Arms, which includes the following programs.
Crisis Shelter: Single women or families enter Open Arms through a five-night crisis shelter program. After this, guests may choose not to stay, or to join our GROWING program.
Growing: This program requires a commitment from the woman to set reasonable goals toward independent living and to actively pursue those goals. There are daily devotions; classes such as Goal Setting, Managing Finances and Job Search; a computerized Learning Center (for improving computer skills and/or preparing for a GED exam). Residents must agree to keep their personal sleeping area clean, complete a housecleaning chore, and abide by a curfew. At 9:00 pm, after the children have been put to sleep, there is a Bible study.
Wings: This one-year program is for women who want to take the time and effort to address underlying issues that caused her to be homeless. Women in the program have access to additional resources such as addiction recovery classes, individual and group counseling, GROWING in Christ discipleship classes, and other individualized help. WINGS also is descriptive of the nature and result of the program. Women who complete this program have been given the skills to live an independent and stable lifestyle.
Transitions: Single women who complete the WINGS program may qualify for an additional six-month stay in KRM’s TRANSITIONS house. Women in this program must be active in a church, and have a job and transportation. They pay 30 percent of their income in rent to get ready for independent living. They have responsibilities in the house, and are accountable to the Women’s Ministry staff.
Coping with a life WITHOUT drugs — by Danielle
Read the inspiring story of a former Open Arms resident.
Every day, I see people cope with the stresses and problems of everyday life. But for some reason, I don’t know how to do it. Instead, I just get frustrated and angry — and then I turn to the only thing that’s ever helped me: drugs.
I don’t know why life is so hard. Maybe it’s because my father abandoned me when I was 2. Or maybe it’s because my mom left me to raise my younger sisters, and I resented it. Or maybe it’s ADHD, which has affected my whole life. The one thing I know is, ever since I turned 14, whenever I’d get upset, I’d get high.
At first, it was just pot. But then I found meth and painkillers — at one point, I was taking about eight pain pills a day. But that wasn’t the worst. Three years ago, I gave birth to my son. I knew my partying was getting out of control, and I hoped he would help calm me down. But I couldn’t stop.
Learning a New Way to Live My Life
The stresses in my life kept growing, especially after my boyfriend ended up in prison. I didn’t expect I’d have to raise my son on my own. I just couldn’t handle it — until someone offered me heroin. I was dependent on it immediately, and it was really bad. The only thing that saved me was getting arrested and going to jail in the fall of 2013.
I lost custody of my son, but at the same time, God gave me a second chance. When I left jail in April 2014, I came to Open Arms. They told me they’d help me get closer to Christ, and if I do well, I could get my son back. So that’s what I’m focusing on.
I’m learning how to cope with life without drugs. I’m learning how to handle stress and anger. I’m even learning how to cook and how to be more independent. Open Arms has been incredible, and I’m so grateful to all the people who support this place. When I leave here, I know I’ll be able to handle anything.
To read more success stories from KRM, please visit our Newsletter Page.
Providing Help and Hope for Homeless Men
Most homeless men are younger than you might think: 1 in 3 are 35 or younger. Some have held good jobs, while others can’t remember their last job. Some have mental or physical disability. Some have advanced degrees, while some can barely read. Many are addicted to drugs or alcohol. About 30 percent of them served honorably in the armed forces. All need help in putting the pieces of their lives together again.
KRM ministers to these men through the following programs.
Short-term Shelter: Following an intake interview and introduction to our entry-level dormitory, our chaplains help the man assess his situation, begin to set goals and decide which program best meets his needs. If the man is employed, the transition program will allow him to stay at the mission and save a portion of his wages to prepare for living independently. He is also expected to attend chapel, one-on-one case management or counseling sessions with staff, and complete a community service assignment at the Mission, all coordinated with his work schedule.
Work Rehabilitation: During this 90-day program, men are given community service work assignments on the Mission campus. This program allows participants to deal with personal issues in a structured environment, aided by one-on-one case management and counseling sessions with our men’s ministry staff, Bible studies, life-skills classes, and employment- readiness classes. An extension to the program may be given based on individual circumstances.
New Life: This program is for men who are struggling with addictions of any kind. This three-phase, Bible-based program requires a commitment to stay at the Mission for at least nine months. Through a variety of classes, community service assignments, participation in group sessions, Bible studies and counseling with staff, men achieve freedom from addiction, while preparing themselves for independent living.
New Life Education Center: Every man at KRM has access to the computerized New Life Education Center. Innovative Learning Systems software will help each man progress at his own speed, improving his reading comprehension and basic math skills, preparing for a GED exam or for employment readiness.
On the Right Path
Read the inspiring story of a former men’s shelter resident.
Blue scrubs with light stains from a hard day’s work are worn by this “Employee of the Month.” On May 28, 2013, Tom Horton was recognized by Fairmont Rehabilitation Center here in Kokomo for excellence in his work. Getting to this place in Tom’s life wasn’t easy. Tom has dealt with many roadblocks on his journey, but he has been successfully working to get to this point. Tom acknowledges Kokomo Rescue Mission’s part in his success today.
After Tom’s mother’s health took a turn for the worst, he realized he needed to be on his own and learn to be self-sufficient. Tom visited the Rescue Mission and thought it might be a good place to start fresh, learn new skills and become acclimated to supporting himself. In March 2011, Tom moved in and began working in the kitchen as part of his training and daily chore activity.
Through Bible study, relationship building and many days and hours of learning new skills, Tom was ready to look for a job outside of the Mission. He continued to live at the Mission while he worked outside of the facility. Many individuals have helped Tom gain self-confidence, a solid work ethic and the ability to become self-sufficient. He credits the Mission’s kitchen staff, the chaplains, and especially his relationship with the Lord. Without his relationship with Christ, he believes he wouldn’t be where he is today. These individuals urged him to take baby steps in his daily work and in his journey with Christ.
Tom was able to leave the Mission in August 2012. He now shares an apartment with a friend and works full time at Fairmont Rehabilitation center. He loves his job and is grateful to God every day for it. He understands the importance of keeping himself focused on Christ and attending his church, Calvary Baptist, weekly. He knows the baby steps he took to reinvent himself at the Mission are what help him be the success he is today. “Relationships matter!” he said. “They (the Mission) gave me a chance to be successful in the little things I did, which gave me confidence to do bigger things; it was a real turning point for me.”
Tom’s life is different today. He visits his mother regularly, hoping one day she will be able to come home and take care of herself. Until then, he will do all he can to help her, but will continue to grow and focus on what God has called him to do and be. He is dating a very sweet young lady. “God is good!” he said.
To read more success stories from KRM, please visit our Newsletter Page.
Kokomo Rescue Mission offers a variety of ministries to the community, including feeding programs, Thanksgiving and Christmas events, Clinton County outreach, and more.
Feeding the Hungry
In 2014, KRM served 126,729 meals to hungry men, women, and children, and provided groceries for over 1,100 families.
Hot nutritious meals are available to the public twice daily in the Mission’s dining room. Lunch is served at 12 noon, supper at 4:30 pm. These meals are open to anyone who needs a meal. For guests in the Mission’s shelters, three meals are served every day.
Grocery Vouchers: Groceries are distributed through the Mission warehouse Monday through Friday with an approved voucher. Apply for vouchers at KRM’s Main Office (321 W. Mulberry St.) during these hours:
- Mon 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
- Tue-Fri 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Food to You: KRM’s mobile food pantry distributes groceries every Wednesday (12 noon-2 pm) in Kokomo neighborhoods where no pantry is within walking distance. Here’s the monthly schedule:
- 1st Wednesday – Grace Memorial Church
- 2nd Wednesday – Carver Center
- 3rd Wednesday – Kokomo Regency Trailer Park (4508 E 200 S)
- 4th Wednesday – Pine Valley Apartments (noon – 1 PM)
Red Ribbon Christmas
Kokomo Rescue Mission’s Red Ribbon Christmas Outreach provides boxes of toys, gifts, food and toiletries for families throughout the six-county area served by the Mission.
Volunteers fill the boxes with gifts appropriate for the age and gender of each family member. Each person receives a new gift purchased by the Mission, and extra gifts lovingly reconditioned by volunteers throughout the year.
When the box has been filled with gifts for the family, it is taken to a Christmas Warehouse where volunteers wrap the gifts. Boxes are also delivered to homes by volunteers.
In 2014, Red Ribbon Christmas boxes were delivered to 922 families and 2,760 people overall. A special thanks to the We Care organization, which donated $105,000 in 2014 to help make this outreach possible.
Volunteer with Us!
If you’d like to help with this year’s Red Ribbon Christmas Outreach, please check back here in September to find dates, times, locations, and volunteer application info. Volunteer drivers must complete this form, and arrive with a copy of their license and proof of insurance.
If you’d like to be a recipient of a Red Ribbon Christmas Box, please click here to see what documents you’ll need. To find out the locations of where applications are being taken please click here click on Application Dates 2014.
For further information, please contact KRM’s Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator at (765) 456-3838.
Sometimes the first step toward a changed life is a simple meal — and for many of our hungry, homeless, and/or hurting neighbors, that process begins with a Thanksgiving dinner. It’s one of Kokomo Rescue Mission’s biggest annual events (we expect to serve some 2,600 meals this Thanksgiving), and it’s a beacon of God’s love to the community.
Meal times and locations Traditional Thanksgiving meals will be served by KRM’s Clinton County Ministry at 6:00 pm Thursday the week before Thanksgiving at Faith Family Ministries, and at 5:00 pm Saturday evening before Thanksgiving at Neighborhood Center in partnership with LIFT Ministries.
In partnership with Kokomo Urban Outreach, KRM will provide turkey and vegetables for Thanksgiving banquets in 16 of their Neighborhoods of Hope at 5:00 pm on the night before Thanksgiving.
At Grace United Methodist Church, a traditional Thanksgiving meal will be delivered to shut-ins at 10:00 am and dinner will be served at the church’s fellowship hall on Thanksgiving Day, from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm.
How you can help You can donate food for the big event. To prepare and serve 2,800 meals, we’ll need:
- 160 Large Turkeys
- 30 Hams
- 100 – #10 Cans Green Beans
- 100 – #10 Cans Corn
- 2,800 Servings of Potatoes (instant)
- 2,800 Dinner Rolls
To volunteer on Thanksgiving Day, please call the Special Events Coordinator at (765) 456-3838. Call early because volunteer positions fill quickly.
Clinton County Ministry of Hope
The Clinton County Ministry of Hope (CCMOH), which started in 2007 as an outreach of the Kokomo Rescue Mission, exists to serve the poor and needy in the Clinton County area in the name of Christ.
Community Meals: We serve two free meals per week in Frankfort, with the assistance of 20 teams of volunteers from 16 Clinton County churches. The food, totaling 50-60 meals per week, is supplied by KRM and from food drives in Clinton County. Meals are offered two evenings per week:
- Tuesdays at 6:00 PM at the Neighborhood Center (partnership with LIFT Together) Ministries.
- Thursdays at 6:00 PM at Faith Families Ministries
Current needs include:
- Drink Mixes – Lemonade or Iced Tea
- Wrapped Plastic Flatware
- Styrofoam Bowls
- Canned Vegetables
- Canned Fruit
- Jello and Pudding Mixes (100 servings per meal)
- Salad Dressings
If you’d like to volunteer to help prepare a meal, serve it and give a short devotional talk on Thursday evenings, call (765) 456-3838. To help with Tuesday evening meals, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
2015 Serving Schedule for Clinton County Ministry of Hope: 2015b_MOH_MealPlan
Thanksgiving Banquet: CCMOH serves Thanksgiving Meals at two locations in Frankfort.
Christmas Outreach: KRM takes applications in Frankfort for the Red Ribbon Christmas program. Those who qualify will receive a box with food and gifts for each member of the family.
Lenten Food Collection and “Fifth Sunday” Collections: During the six Sundays of Lent, Clinton County churches are urged to participate in a food drive for such items as canned pasta with meat, canned fruit, canned tuna and chicken, boxed mac & cheese, and hamburger or tuna “helper.” Additionally, a collection is held later in the year on every Fifth Sunday — in 2015, those dates are May 31, August 30 and November 29. Food donations are can be picked up at the church. Please call the Kokomo Rescue Mission at (765) 456-3838 to arrange the pick up.
You can give today to support CCMOH through our secure site. Any gift to Kokomo Rescue Mission may be designated for the CCMOH.
Volunteer for any of the Outreach Services by going to our Volunteer page.