Community Ministries Project
Ken Austin, formerly the operations director at CGM, has transitioned over to lead our Community Ministries Projects. CRP works to partner with local churches and community groups to offer various outreach and assistance efforts to the entire Washington Park community.
Our first foray into this is partnering with New Walk of Life Church in providing a building that has been named the Mercy House.
Because of this new establishment, we are able to serve the emergency food needs of about 50 families of five per week. The Mercy House distributes hot meals to the elderly and homeless in our community and creates food availability for latchkey kids in our community after school each day to have the same. The house has two full bathrooms with showers available for the homeless and those in need. Washing machines and dryers are also available for them every Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 7 PM, and Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM. The clothes closetis available with the intent to help those people in need of proper attire for job interviews, work, or school attendance. We will also offer access to computers with Wi-Fi and printers for school needs, job searches, and for online business needs.
In 2016, the Mercy House served over 1500 nutritional boxes of food to families with emergency food needs. Each box contained enough food for an average family of 5 members to provide breakfast, snacks, and dinner for a week. In addition, we served five families each week through the Montgomery Public School Backpack program.
Over 200 families in the city received boxes of food for Thanksgivingdinner and over 100 families enjoyed the same for Christmas dinner.
Ken also visits homes of the students enrolled in our programs to build a deeper relationship with the parents. His work of supporting, praying for, and acting on behalf of the families is very important. It serves both to help fill in some tough gaps the families are facing and helps advocate for the parents. He provides transportation and connection to networks to help with things like job searches, medical care, social services, and other organizations that can help these families.