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House of Compassion Expands Focus

We recently talked with Chad Hammar, executive director of the House of Compassion (HoC). He shared about their current service offerings and how our church can support them in their mission to reach out with the love of Christ to respond to the needs of the community and advocate for justice and dignity for all. He stressed that First Presbyterian Church is a good partner in that we already prepare and serve a meal in their kitchen the third Thursday of every month and last year our youth groups helped with their soup bowl fundraising meal. Mr. Hammar highlighted a few programs and offered three main ways we can help.

House of Compassion is striving to move beyond simply crisis care. They still offer services for those situations like meals 6 days a week, showers, supply closet, and financial assistance, but they are working on offering programs to help people improve their lives. For example, JobPath is a new initiative in which HoC coordinates with local agencies to assist clients into the workforce by doing things like bringing resume and interviewing experts in to coach individuals. They will also be starting financial literacy classes soon.

HoC continues to help people with tuition for English as a Second Language classes. ISU Extension also conducts weekly classes there on a number of health and budget related topics. All of these things are intended to help people move past the crisis moment in their lives and move to a place of greater health.

So how can you help?

The three biggest ways Mr. Hammar suggested for individuals to help right now are to:

· Serve at the Soup Kitchen, either through our church on the third Thursday or call

Marina at (641)752-5999 to schedule a day for your family or group.

· Donate items or money for the Supply Closet. Laundry detergent, dish soap, and

hand soap are three of their greatest needs.

· Adopt-a-Family at Christmas either as a family or with a group.

For more information on the House of Compassion, you can visit their website.

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