Action Ministries is a program designed to give homeless individuals and families in Gordon County a firm ground to stand on and motivation to improve their life situation, by providing a stable path to successfully obtain financial strength.
ounded in 1963, Action Ministries opened its first home in Calhoun in 2008, and two more in 2010, which still house families today, according to Executive Director of Action Ministries Jannan Thomas,
In a report done by the GDCA in 2011, there were 16,078 unsheltered or precariously housed individuals in Georgia.
In an effort to combat these numbers, Action Ministries currently operates housing programs in Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Decatur, Gainesville and Rome, with 44 houses in 19 counties, with three in Calhoun.
Action Ministries have proven successful with an 83 percent graduation rate, according to Thomas.
The program provides families with job coaching, training on how to utilize resources offered in communities, interview skills and many other experiences for self-sustainability.
“Once they get a job 30 percent of their check goes to help with paying for the homes, and 10 percent goes to a personal savings account for the family. This is so they get used to paying bills before they get their own place,” said Thomas.
In Gordon County, participating families are screened through an application process, which involves referral letters from a local church. After applications have been filled out and letters verified, a case manager is assigned to interview the applicants to help match families with homes.
Eligibility, however is not restricted to the size of the family, but is restricted to families only, according to Thomas.
The Emergency Solutions Grant is funded through GDCA, which was the last step that Action Ministries was waiting for along with local approval and signature.
The grant has been approved and signed by the board of commissioners in Calhoun.
Action Ministries is a nonprofit organization that is supported through its partnership and collaborations with other businesses, organizations and institution.
The yearly cost to run one house is around $26,000 and $36,000, and part of the support Action Ministries receives is from the GDCA to adequately run a home, according to Thomas.
“We get a third of the funding for these houses from churches, a third comes from individuals and organizations and a third comes from GDCA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,” said Thomas.
The money that comes from the grant is for the utilities funding for the houses. The money goes towards things such as, water, electricity and sewage so these families can have adequate housing, according to Thomas.
Shon Brown is a caseworker with Action Ministries, and has been assisting the Gordon County families involved in this program for the past two years. She has been with the organization for the past 10 years.
There have been five Gordon County families that have been blessed with a new lease on life by this organization since the first house opened up in 2008, according to Brown.
“It is very self fulfilling, and it allows me to share my faith with the families. I don’t even consider it a job, because I enjoy it so much. It’s just a blessing to be helping in such a huge way,” said Brown.
The average family stays in the home, provided by Action Ministries, for around 18 months before they move out, but case workers stay in touch for a year after the family leaves to make sure the family is continually doing well.
Action Ministries plans to continue their program in Gordon County, and hopefully expand the overall program, but still need funding, according to Thomas.
Additionally, Action Ministries has plans for future endeavors that would help veterans of Gordon County and their families. .
Action Ministries will be having a fundraiser later in the year called “Cow-A-Bunga Bingo,” to involve to community. Gordon County citizens are encouraged to help by giving their time in volunteering with the fundraiser and other activities associated with Action Ministries.
For more information, call 404-881-1991, or visit their website at www.actionministries.net.