So … at the beginning of the summer, a friend approached me to help him start a transitional housing ministry.  As this was something close to my heart, I said yeah even though we had no idea what we were doing or what any of it would look like.  We figured we’d be spending a year or two just building relationships.  Well, things took off faster than either of us planned, to the point where we are having to play catch up with the paperwork … including coming up with a name.  Today we are officially incorporated at Cities of Refuge Ministries Inc.  I’m still play testing our mission and vision stuff:

Mission:  Rebuilding lives, Rebuilding Communities

Vision:  Cities of Refuge Ministries is a partnering organization which assists motivated homeless men and women in the greater Indianapolis community by helping them transition from a state of homelessness to a stable living arrangement.

Ours is a relational model, extending the compassion of Jesus Christ as we spend time with each other as we work through emotional and spiritual struggles.  We provide long-term residential environment where program opportunities are tailored to the individual’s situation and goals in a case management framework.  We meet our clients where they are in life and help them to develop a comprehensive plan for their lives with goals and objectives.  We support people in their recovery and transition with an environment encouraging Accountability, Manageability and Responsibility for their lives.

We empower our neighbors to permanently end their homelessness through a full array of holistic services, spending time on life and social skills such as money management, and employability.  Our life skills program strives to:

-Increase completion of high school or GED

-Increase enrollment in technical/post-secondary education

-Increase employability and employment opportunities

-Increase healthy parenting and life skills

As we believe it takes a collaborative community approach to break the cycle of poverty, we partner with other organizations. As the men move through our program, we wish to provide them with skill sets that they can use to pursue long term employment opportunities.  Through our house rehabilitation crew partners, we will provide job opportunities and training. We want to create opportunities for men to reunify with their families and pursue their dream of homeownership, maintaining the neighborhood’s assets together, and reinvigorate communities, one stabilizing family at a time.