If you’ve lived in the Columbus area for any length of time, you have probably heard about Faith Mission. Faith Mission is central Ohio’s largest homeless shelter system with two men’s shelters and one women’s shelter. The mission started on February 6, 1966 by a group of Lutheran pastors who wanted to ensure there was a warm and welcoming place for people experiencing homelessness. 50 years later, Faith Mission has served countless homeless and hungry Columbus neighbors, giving them hope and dignity and supporting them as they strive to better their lives.
But Faith Mission is more than just a homeless shelter. Here’s a test, in honor of our 50th anniversary.
Can you name 50 things that happen at Faith Mission every single day of the year?
You get bonus points if you’ve volunteered or donated to help us do these things!
1. Provide beds for up to 38 women every night in the women’s shelter
2. Provide beds for up to 89 men every night at Faith on Sixth Street
3. Provide beds for up to 110 men every night at Faith on Eighth Street
4. Provide a warm place for those who need one when it is cold
5. Supply clothes including outerwear for those who need it
6. Supply personal care items for those who need them
7. Provide move-out boxes when clients leave the shelter
8. Serve breakfast every day to families, adults and children who need a meal
9. Serve lunch 365 days a year to anyone who needs a meal
10. Serve dinner every day to anyone who is hungry
11. Ensure we are providing healthy meals and nutrition education to clients
12. Counsel clients about nutrition and healthy eating
13. Display healthy eating information in the dining room to educate
14. Receive ongoing training for cooks to plan and prepare healthier meals
15. Make packed lunches for clients who work during the day
16. Create Individualized Employment Service Plans with each client to maximize their employment potential
17. Help clients build their resume, which is key to landing a job
18. Assist clients in practicing their interview skills
19. Make online job search tools available to all clients
20. Make job placement with employer partners available for qualified applicants
21. Make sure clients have access to phones and personal voicemail, a fax machine, bus passes and directories of Columbus resources not only for job searches but other services
22. Help clients access needed services like tax preparation, utilities, health coverage, child care assistance, student loans, etc.
23. Run workshops for job readiness, financial literacy and housing support
24. Work not only with Faith Mission clients but also CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence clients
At the Health Center with your support, we…
26. Supply dental care including extractions and fillings
27. Help clients with the multiple foot and ankle issues that arise from being homeless
28. Provide complete vision exams
29. Fit clients for new eyeglasses, completely free
30. Supply some medications to clients with prescriptions.
31. Provide emergency shelter for up to 24 veterans, both men and women
32. Provide case management services with ongoing support to veterans in crisis
33. Provide assistance in obtaining VA benefits
34. Help veterans obtain and coordinate public benefits available
35. Provide temporary financial assistance to obtain stable housing
36. Help veterans find suitable housing and create a plan to improve housing stability
37. Make showers available to anyone who needs one
38. Assist clients in obtaining birth certificates, social security cards and other documents
39. Provide clients access to numerous housing resources
40. Help place clients in community recovery groups and programs
41. Host and run support and activity groups in the shelters including sober living support groups
42. Refer clients to many types of community resources such as legal, health care, etc.
43. Grow vegetables and herbs in the Faith Mission garden to be used in the community kitchen
44. Serve meals in the community kitchen
45. Work with clients in the health center
46. Sort donations in the donation storage room
47. Plan, set up and host events including our Spring Housewarming Party and Deck the Halls
48. In the Faith Mission Kitchen garden by weeding, planting, watering and harvesting
49. Work with clients in the resource center
50. In the shower areas
As you can see Faith Mission is a busy place. There is plenty to do every day as we strive to make the world a better place. Each life that we touch is important. Every day we make a difference.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of that first night of service, we recognize that Faith Mission has been fortunate to have had many dedicated local supporters help us keep our doors open over the years, not only with monetary donations but with countless volunteer hours. We hope we are not needed 50 years from now, but if we still are, we will be here. Will you?