Two successful community organizations have come together to further the missions of both groups.
Discover Hope, the faith-based substance abuse counseling center, is nearing completion of its new facility at the former Bob Hawkins Studios, 733 First Ave. E. in Newton. For Robbie Robinson, founder of Discover Hope, one of the main pieces of the new facility is to provide transitional housing to help addicts stay out of bad habits. The dormitory will be a place for those who are working their way back into society. Robinson said it will give them an opportunity to have a place to live, to help focus on building life skills and a chance to be integrated back into the workforce.
With the help of another local service-based organization, Robinson’s goal is one step closer to reality.
Dick Palmer, a member of the Disciples Men’s Fellowship Team at First Christian Church in Newton, has helped build beds for almost 140 children in the community through the group’s Bedz4Kidz program. Now instead of building beds for local children, Palmer and the rest of the men’s group applied their skills to build bunk beds for the Discover Hope housing facility.
Palmer said FCC’s pastor Mark Young stopped by the new Discover Hope building and spoke to Robinson about his vision, including the need for transitional housing. Knowing the Discover Hope mission was to help serve those in a distressed situation, Young mentioned the church’s men’s group to Robinson and perhaps they could help Discover Hope fulfill a need.
“I took the lead from our pastor and made a call to Robbie Robinson and explained to him what we do,” Palmer said. “He said, ‘You’re a blessing in disguise. We were wondering what we were going to do for beds.’”
The rest was set in motion. The fellowship raised the funding for the project with the help of the local Mason’s group as its main sponsor. Robinson said it took about three weeks for the proper funds to be raised and the materials to be purchased. Palmer said the fellowship group purchases mattresses from Newton Furniture and hardware and lumber for the beds at Spahn & Rose Lumber Co.
While Bedz4Kidz had built 30 bunk beds and around 30 single beds before, the project for Discover Hope was slightly different.
“Robbie had a special request. He asked that we make them extra long because we are talking for grown men now instead of children,” Palmer said.
Palmer said they had to redo their blueprint to accommodate the change. They also made sure to purchase extra long mattresses, sheets and blankets.
With the materials purchased and the blueprint adjusted, the fellowship group set to work in the church’s basement to build five special bunk beds. Another piece in the puzzle came from Woodstyles LLC of Newton. After the beds were constructed, the local business donated the materials to stain the wood to keep them mature.
“Discover Hope has been successfully fulfilling a need in our community, and I’m happy to help them in any way that I can,” Jeff Guthrie, owner of Woodstyles, said. “People are receiving a new chance in life and I have witnessed incredible transformations. I think that it is critical that businesses, churches and the community as a whole rally around this ministry as it benefits not only the individuals but our entire community.”
Once the carpet was in place at the facility, Palmer and the rest of the men’s group came into the facility to finish assembling the five bunks, giving a total of 10 beds to the project.
“A lot of great organizations came together to make things happen,” Robinson said.
The people who Discover Hope will house will have access to life skills classes and will be helped to find jobs to help them get back on their feet, Robinson said. Each tenant will pay rent and work with Discover Hope’s housing director, who will live at the facility as well to help oversee the residents.
Robinson said he hopes to hold a grand opening for the entire facility by the end of May. He said steady progress has been made with the community center recently completed.
Bedz4Kidz will continue to work with the Salvation Army and the Newton Community School District to continue its mission to help keep children from having to sleep on the floor. Palmer said in the five years the fellowship has been in operation, the mission has been well received.
“It’s probably been as much a blessing for our church as a mission project as it has been for our clients. It’s been a real joy to service the needs in our community,” Palmer said.
Contact Pam Pratt at 641-792-3121 ext. 6530 or firstname.lastname@example.org