Homelessness: Our Challenge, and What We Do
Kokomo Indiana is billed as the “City of Firsts” due to its rich heritage of inventions in the auto industry, alloy metals and the food industry. Howard County and the surrounding five county area have a long history of steady employment in agriculture, automotive, steel and alloy product manufacturing. Unfortunately, the area has also seen its share of economic struggles over the years.
The 2007-08 economic crash hit hard and while the local economy has made some recovery, the permanent loss of many high wage and professional jobs continues to impact the overall economy and create challenges for our community. There are still many people in the six county area supported by the Kokomo Rescue Mission who need to know there is hope.
At the Kokomo Rescue Mission, our staff and volunteers want to share hope, not just in the form of a hot meal, a warm night of shelter or a Red Ribbon Christmas box, but most importantly through the Good News of our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Hurting, Hungry and Homelessness
Factors such as medical issues, addictions, mental health problems and job loss can result in homelessness. In 2012, Howard County had 19.9% overall poverty rate and for children age birth to 17 the rate soared to 26.8%. During the 2013-14 school year 7,177 students in Howard County schools received free and reduced lunches (Indiana Youth Institute data). U.S. Department of Labor data ranked Indiana 18th in the nation for underemployment* at 15%.
At the Kokomo Rescue Mission (KRM), we know statistics are more than numbers; they represent individual people who are homeless, hungry, and hurting. Since 1953, we have provided help and hope through emergency assistance and long-term programs that touch the mind, body, and heart.
Last year (2016) alone, KRM …
- Served 127,631 meals to hungry men, women, and children
- Provided 33,429 nights of shelter for our homeless neighbors
- Assisted 139 women and 88 children at the Open Arms Shelter
- Helped 440 men who stayed in our Men’s Shelter
- Served out 562 Thanksgiving meals on Thanksgiving Day and in partnership with the Clinton County Ministry of Hope
And so much more. All in the name of Jesus. Won’t you join us in reaching out to the hurting in our community?
*The underemployment statistic includes everyone affected by the declining job market including people who want to work but have not looked in the past four week and those who work part time but want to work full time.