Kings Gospel Mission is an organization focused on providing overnight shelter to men on the street and helping them get over the problems that drag them down. Everyone here wants to see progress, and their kindness and willingness to help is immediately visible. Kings Gospel Mission has two main focuses in mind when it comes to serving the homeless in our community, the first being an overnight shelter for men. Chief Executive Officer Dave Clevenger mentions:
“We are open for overnight shelter from 6:00 PM every night until 7:00 AM every morning. The men sleep here on the property every night off the street. We provide a dinner, laundry and shower services, and there is a bible devotion every night after dinner for anyone who is willing to listen. It encourages them to have a conversation with us about who they are, why they’re homeless, and it gives them a chance to get to know us and why we’re doing this for them.”
MORE THAN JUST SHELTER
The second component and primary focus of Kings Gospel Mission is their Life Transformation Program. The program runs for 12 months and aims to explore what is going on in the lives of our homeless men and how to find a path to a flourishing livelihood. The program emphasizes emotional/spiritual healing, life readiness, and vocational preparedness with lessons on the Bible and the Christian worldview, how to manage bills, cook meals, planning out the week, work therapy, job training, and much more. Once the basics are mastered, then the challenge is learning what their natural abilities and preferences are and using that as an advantage to find work that they can enjoy getting up for in the morning.
“We focus on identity, hurts, and hangups, and we see this through a Christian biblical worldview. We believe and follow Jesus Christ because we believe that he can heal any issue, hurt, or hangup so we explore what God has for us and then we focus on fixing those problems.”
The biggest challenges for the programs have been financial. Kings Gospel Mission is completely donor funded and can only exist through the kindness and willingness to give of the community. The good news is that they will accept more than just monetary donations; any gently used goods, used vehicles, property and other things of value are more than welcome. They can even accept a bushel to help fund the mission. The men regularly work hand in hand with staff and volunteers to prepare donated items for yard sales which are held on site. The other challenge they face has been community awareness, meaning that few people are out advocating for homeless men to seek out their assistance.
“The people that are out panhandling, and seeking handouts, we need to be connected with them. Rather than just giving them monetary support, we need to have that communication with them and get them the help we need. If you come across these people, send them our way!”
Kings Gospel Mission has only been around in our community for a bit more than a year, but already has 3 graduates from their Life Transformation Program. They are holding down a steady job, living on their own, and have been a major inspiration for the other men still at the shelter.
“We keep in touch, and we aim to provide those connections should they run into problems, and they do come, but here they have people who know them and care about them. And in our overnight shelter, we’ve had many people get to know us and open up about what particular things cause problems for them and knowing that we can connect them to community resource specifically targeting that issue. We can only do that because of that mutual and direct relationship we build here together.”