Elkhart homelessness ministry asking for expansion funding

ELKHART, Ind. --- A homelessness ministry in Elkhart is asking for the community to donate funds in order to expand its days of service.

Lori King, lead pastor at Guidance Ministries, said currently the building runs two and half days every week. She said with a $25,000 yearly budget, the ministry which serves the homeless in Elkhart would be able to run five days a week.

“There really is a need for at least five days a week services for the homeless and we would like to provide that,” said King.

Right now, the group is $13,000 short of its goal. King said if someone would like to donate they can by PayPal or sending a check to the following P.O. Box:

Post Office 1494

Elkhart, IN 46515

A smaller crowd filled the buildings recreation-turned-dining hall on Wednesday for a ham and beans dinner. King said she is surprised how many people have been coming out this week to use their services.

“A lot of people have come in today and said that they’re hurting from just breathing the cold,” King said.

This week, 30 families used the food pantry, according to King. And she said nearly 70 people visited the soup kitchen.

During the day, the homeless could escape the cold at Guidance Ministries. Then at 8 p.m., most would leave for Faith Mission, the city of Elkhart’s winter amnesty shelter location.

Both locations are a part of Elkhart City’s Homeless Coalition, which receives support from groups within, nearby businesses, and law enforcement.

“We really appreciate Pastor Lori, Guidance Ministries, Faith Mission for stepping up to help out during the extreme weather,” said Cpl. Jim Ballard, Downtown Riverwalk Liason for Elkhart Police Department.

Cpl. Ballard said he is on board to help Guidance Ministries fundraise for it’s expansion efforts. He said if the homeless were to have a place to go to in the daytime five days a week, it would help downtown businesses.

King recently won a $10,000 grant from the Elkhart County Community Foundation. She said her staff is going to trust God and have faith that the other monies will come in.


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