The Crisis Ministry first opened its doors to neighbors in need in 1980, and now, as we near the end of our 35th anniversary year, we are a more vital link than ever in the community’s shared response to poverty and to the challenges families face.
Our resources and support fill the most basic human needs while helping low-income neighbors to build more stable lives. Numerous partners and supporters in the Mercer County community make it possible for us to make sure that struggling families have access to life’s necessities of food and housing and to offer practical support along their path to long-term income stability and well-being.
People who turn to us appreciate not only our services and support, but also the warm welcome and sense of dignity that are among our most important values.
Here, briefly, are the ways in which we work daily with our community toward building stability and well-being:
Hunger Prevention and Healthy Living. Making ends meet on a low income can mean going hungry. We provide access to a wide variety of healthy foods, in a dignified environment, based on client choice, in all three of our locations. We also promote healthy living, improved nutrition, and increased well-being through a heart-healthy inventory; fresh fruits and vegetables, some that we grow and some that come from community gardens and farmers markets; nutrition tips and learning opportunities; and health screenings.
Housing Stability. Even if two adults in the home work full-time at minimum wage, affording a modest two-bedroom apartment in Mercer County is difficult. For families living on the financial edge, a health crisis or a needed car repair can bring them face-to-face with the threat of homelessness. We prevent the spiral toward homelessness by working with clients, landlords, and utilities to restore housing stability through timely financial assistance. For some families who need more support we provide up to a year of financial support along with financial counseling, life skills coaching, and connections to untapped services.
Workforce Development. We support moms and dads as they strive to enter or re-enter the job market to support themselves and their children. Trainees gain on-the-job customer service experience in our grocery-modeled food pantries, take online certification courses, engage in job readiness and interview coaching, and create strong resumes. For many adults working toward self-sufficiency, a suspended driver’s license due to nonpayment of fines for minor traffic violations is a significant barrier to employment. We work with clients to help restore their driving privileges, which improves their job and income prospects and can change the lives and futures of their families.
Volunteers are key. We’re grateful for our community’s support. Would you like to know more about how we work with our neighbors and our community, and about you can support our mission? Please visit us at www.thecrisisministry.org or give us a call at 609-396-9355. Happy Holidays!