TRUMBULL COUNTY Family Mission plans to expand program with women's house

The mission's new family services home used to be a boys group home.
WARREN -- Safe, separate housing for women with children is the aim of the Warren Family Mission's family services home expected to open Oct. 1.
The home at 491 Porter St., next to the mission building, was dedicated Friday. Formerly a boys group home, the house was purchased by a local businessman, who wants to remain anonymous, and donated to the mission.
"We've had so many women come in here over the years that it was time," said the Rev. Chris Gilger, mission executive director.
The mission has been in Warren, first on Niles Road and then its current Elm Road location, about seven years and recently starting accepting women, housing them in a room of the mission. Previously, the mission paid for motel rooms for the women.
"We don't have the funds to keep doing that," the Rev. Mr. Gilger said.
Once repairs and finishing touches are made, the house will accommodate both single women and those with children. Single women will sleep in bunk beds in some of the rooms while other rooms are reserved for women with several children.
Because the mission doesn't want to ask for government money, it is asking for donations and volunteers to make the venture successful.
The Rev. Tom Weaver, outreach pastor, said the mission gets help from about 30 area churches, but much of the assistance comes from individual church members who volunteer their time or contribute monetarily.
The mission helps people with drug, alcohol and mental health problems as well as the homeless.
"We're really involved in a life-changing experience," the Rev. Mr. Weaver said.
Church-related program
Sessions include counseling, Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous groups, job training, parenting skills and job application and resume preparation. Bible classes also are part of the mission's offerings.
"It's all Christ-based," Mr. Weaver said.
Mission participants must attend church.
"Then when they leave the mission, it's a smoother transition," Mr. Weaver said. "They already have a church; they already have a pastor."
Carmen Rodgers, who came to the mission a few years ago as a volunteer, has been named family services director.
Though men enrolled in the mission complete a one-year program, women may stay for a shorter period. It just depends upon their individual needs, Rodgers said.

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