A nonprofit associated with a Colorado Springs megachurch has converted two former “methamphetamine houses” in the most violent part of town and incorporated them into a three-year-old program that is helping break homeless single mothers and their children out of the cycle of poverty.
Over three years ago, Mary’s Home was launched in a renovated 3-story apartment complex in Colorado Springs to provide up to as many as 12 homeless women and their kids with a safe place as well as the mothers a chance at spiritual restoration and financial empowerment.
The program was named after Mary, the mother of Jesus, who, by historical accounts, was a single mother by the time Jesus died.
The two-to-five-year program is designed to provide homeless women with a sense of dignity by alleviating the common struggles that make it harder for those in poverty to break free from the factors holding them down.
But thanks to the purchase of two homes neighboring the apartment complex, Mary’s Home (run by the ECFA-accredited nonprofit Dream Centers) will soon be able to provide up to 20 homeless moms and their kids renovated dormitory-style apartments in the complex.
Pastor Brady Boyd, the senior pastor of the 12,000-member, six-congregation New Life Colorado Springs and Dream Center’s board chairman, told The Christian Post that many of the women who come to Mary’s Home have never had a safe place to call home in their life.
“So, a lot of these moms are running from pimps, they’re running from violent boyfriends, abusive husbands,” Boyd said. “So what we did is, we put in a really high-end security fence around the property. We have partnerships with the local neighbors who are helping us keep an eye [out]. So, the crime rate is actually gone down in the immediate part of that neighborhood because of the intentional security that we placed there.”
Many of the women who end up at Mary’s Home were once foster children who had no family to turn to for help.
In order to help these women break the cycle of poverty, the women are given free shelter, spiritual discipleship, transportation, and medical care through the Dream Center’s local women’s clinic.
The program also partners with local daycare providers and the government to provide childcare for the mothers.
“When a woman does not have safe shelter, access to a job and access to primary health care, they typically stay in a perpetual state of brokenness, poverty,” Boyd explained. “We solve all those problems for them with housing, a safe place to live, food, transportation, medical care. And because of that, now they have hope and they have the ability to rise up out of the cycle of poverty.”
— Dr. Derwin L. Gray (@DerwinLGray) April 1, 2019
And that is exactly what is happening, according to Boyd, who said the program has shown to have a 95 percent success rate. He told the story of one mom who moved out of Mary’s Home after just two years and now runs her own refurbished furniture business in Iowa making an income of about $60,000 per year.
“She is completely independent and she’s completely off government support,” he explained.
The two new buildings, the second of which is nearly completed, will allow Mary’s Home to move some of its administrative and programming elements out of the apartment complex to provide room for more families. With a 21-unit complex, Mary’s Home can now have at least 20 moms and their families live there.
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Source: Christian Post