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February Referral Rewards Partner: Open House Ministries

Introducing Open House Ministries! Our February Referral Rewards was founded more than 30 years ago by Bob and Joanne Kendall.  It began when the Kendalls saw a growing

number of homeless people in Esther Short Park, particularly an increasing number of homeless mothers and children. They and their friends decided to help provide resources.

Many of the people they served commented that if they could only have a warm place to stay with food and clothes, they would be able to get back on their feet. With the help of other leaders in the community, they raised the funds to purchase a ten-room boarding house and in 1986,

Open House Ministries opened its doors. By 1996, the organization once again rallied resources and replaced the boarding house by building a shelter with 36 studio apartments.

At the heart of the Open House programs are Christian values. When a family is accepted into Open House, they understand that they will be held accountable, remain clean and sober and work their individualized program with their assigned case manager. This can include on-site professional counseling for addiction and mental health, spiritual counseling, working for family reunification, working with local law enforcement agencies, life skills classes or GED

classes. Residents can then qualify to receive on the job training at the campus Open House Retail Shops on 13th (Second Hand Solutions Thrift Store and Wheel Deals Bicycles.)

Staff, residents and alumni agree that learning how to apply core Christian principles makes Open House Ministries programs unique and successful, such as personal accountability for one’s actions. These high expectations and responsibilities help residents realize their own value, capabilities and potential. School age children must attend school, and all adults are required to participate in 30 hours a week of classes and program. To find out more about this ministry, visit the Open House Ministries website at or check out the Open House Retail Shops where 100% of the proceeds go to help homeless families.