CINCINNATI - Thanks to a driven Elder and a local church ministry, homeless women now have a place to go to help better their lives.
The Swan House, a shelter located in Evanston will take fourteen homeless women, get them off the street and provide them with shelter, food, clothing and education.
The idea was created by Elder Nathanial Banks of Refreshing Springs Church in West Chester, who said God gave him a vision to give less fortunate women a fresh start for their lives.
"The vision was to take women who feel like they're ugly to understand the concept of the ugly duckling. It had an ugliness, and one day it found this beauty and that's what we want these women to know, they are beautiful and God loves them," Banks said.
Pastor Banks and members from the "I Am Somebody Ministry" at Montgomery Community Baptist Church started a project, that will completely renovate a home.
The project took four years and was funded through local donations.
"We did outreach in the community, we went to different churches...we had Montgomery Community Church, we've have Ephiphany United Methodist Church and St. Columbian who have all graciously given through donations, whether it be monetary. I mean that's what it's all about," said Gina Johnson, Head Solicitor for the project.
The fourteen women will be chosen by board members after a rigorous application process. Residents of the home, will not only receive shelter, but also job training and one on one mentoring.
"It's a second chance, it's an opportunity to make a difference in their lives and for them to make a difference in themselves, you know I mean, I want them to go, step out and give it back also, Johnson said.
"It's not about putting a bandaid on a hemorrhage. We are looking at these women, healing from the inside out and we recognize that they did not get in these situations overnight. It's going to take time, for the healing process to occur, so we're trying to approach it from a holistic standpoint," said Chandra Mathews-Smith.
Monetary donations can be sent to: I Am Somebody Ministries, Inc. P.O. Box 46943, Cincinnati, Ohio 45246. Other services are also needed. For more information, contact the organization at (513) 531-9111.
Copyright 2010 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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