- Associated Press - Thursday, December 11, 2014

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - On a cold December afternoon, a pair of men worked to install a rear door on a dilapidated duplex in Jacobsville near Bosse Field.

Stripped down to the studs, the home is being renovated bit by bit - all of it done on a shoestring budget.

It won’t be a home to lease or to sell. It’s a “God’s House,” and will soon house women and children transitioning from homelessness.

There are two other homes like it in Evansville. One houses a single family and the other is for men recently released from incarceration or homeless. All three are managed and owned by the Disciples of Christ Ministry, which is led by Pastor Dallas Majewski.

Not only does the ministry house those in need, but it also has an operation that takes refurbished furniture and donates it to those who have homes but can’t afford to furbish them.

“We just help anybody who needs help. We don’t charge anything. We’re completely self-supportive,” Majewksi told the Evansville Courier & Press (https://bit.ly/1BAzC3Z ) as he sat inside a God’s House in the Center City.

The ministry’s story tracks back to the end of 2008, when Majewski decided to take what little money he had to buy the Center City home.

“God just clearly told me that there were people who needed help and needed a place to go,” he said.

A woman with seven children, who couldn’t find a landlord who would rent to her, was the first to move in.

Various other families occupied the home in its earlier years, but it evolved into a men’s transitional home.

There are 800 people who come out of incarceration and into the Evansville area every year, Majewski said.

“If they don’t have a place to transition, they’re going to go back to what they were doing. This is what God wants me, us, to do,” he said.

Jerry “Pappy” Mabee is a layperson with the ministry.

Mabee, who is a recovering alcoholic, said people make mistakes and they shouldn’t be cursed for those mistakes forever.

“If the couch is open, I’m not going to leave anyone on the street. God won’t let us,” Mabee said.

Majewski wants to help men who come through the God’s House to change their old lifestyle, and to live in a “clean, sober, Christian atmosphere.”

“We’re trying to fill that hole that’s in their heart, that God-sized hole they’ve been trying to fill with drugs, alcohol, money, women. It can only be filled by one thing and that’s God,” he said

The ministry isn’t limited to providing housing to those in need.

The first family Majewski housed in the Center City home didn’t have any furniture. When they moved in, the woman and her seven children were sleeping on the wooden floor.

A man with a Christian men’s group affiliated with the ministry stepped in and bought seven brand news beds.

“That pretty much started the bed ministry,” Majewski said.

Now, the group has a 10,000 square-foot warehouse on North Garvin Street filled with furniture that is dispersed days after being donated. The group partners with 12 companies in the area for regular donations.

“Since we started in the last six years, we’ve probably given out 900 to 1,000 beds in the Evansville area,” Majewski said. “I can tell you, from us delivering beds every day, that we haven’t even scratched the surface.”

Disciples of Christ works with several churches and organizations - including Aurora, a nonprofit that helps the homeless in Evansville transition to more permanent housing - to help furnish new living spaces.

The group just doesn’t handle beds. Any furniture - cabinets, tables, chairs, sofas - can be used they accept.

“Those are the things that make a home that people don’t even think about. Those are things that warm up a place,” he said.

Almost every day, Majewski and volunteers pick up and deliver furniture to people in need who have been referred to the group.

A recent donation of cutlery was a godsend, he said. “We had four forks for seven guys in this home. People don’t think about donating those things, but that’s what Aurora needs, and that’s what the community really needs.”

The Disciples of Christ Ministry doesn’t raise much cash, he said.

“We don’t have any grants, and I think the total of our donations this year was about $500. We run on a shoestring and a prayer. . I’ve actually taken lines of credit to keep the thing going,” he said. “It will all work out. God will provide.”


Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, https://www.courierpress.com

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