Community Ministries Project
Ken Austin, formerly the operations director at CGM, has transitioned over to lead our Community Ministries Projects. CMP 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.
The Mercy House is able to serve the emergency food needs of about 50 families of five per week. They distribute hot meals to the elderly and homeless in our community and creates food availability for latchkey kids 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 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM. The clothes closet is available with the intent to help those people in need of proper attire for job interviews, work, or school attendance. They offer access to computers with Wi-Fi and printers for school needs, job searches, and for online business needs.
Each year, the Mercy House serves over 1500 nutritional boxes of food to families with emergency food needs. Each box contains enough food for an average family of five members to provide breakfast, snacks, and dinner for a week. In addition, they servd five families each week through the Montgomery Public School Backpack program.
Over 200 families in the city receive boxes of food for Thanksgiving dinner and over 100 families enjoy 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.
In October 2018, the Mercy House transitioned into its own 501(c)3 non-profit under Ken’s leadership.