James and Greg are best friends. They have been chronically homeless for the last fifteen years. Both have struggled with drinking, and they have chosen to “camp.”
The two men have been living outside for the last three years. They have been coming to The Center, a ministry of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Davenport, each day for showers, meals, and work. Greg’s job is the windows and James does the dishes.
A few months ago Greg decided he “felt valued enough to go into housing.” He currently has a small apartment but still comes to visit The Center everyday to do his job.
James got housing more recently. His first purchase for his new house was a shovel. Pennie Kellenberger, the director of The Center, said to him, “A shovel? But you need so much more.” He told her, “Pennie, I haven’t shoveled my own sidewalk since I was a kid. I want my neighbors to see me! I live somewhere.”
The Center’s goal “is to be a light in dark places, serving the needs of our community through the empowering love of Jesus.” They strive to love people where they are in community until healthy change happens.
The Iowa Conference is investing $17,000 in The Center this year. These funds are made possible with the apportionment gifts of the United Methodist churches of Iowa.