Ruth McCaudy, a coordinator and public relations representative for Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Hinckley Township, wants to set the record straight about homelessness in Medina County.
“It is a problem and it’s becoming more of a problem,” she said.
Her work includes helping Operation HOMES, founded in 1994, which is a nonprofit network of churches and agencies serving homeless individuals and families with weekly church-based shelter, meals and life-skills programs.
The Catholic Commission of Wayne, Ashland and Medina will honor Operation HOMES with the 2017 Faithful Servant Award at the 30th Pope St. John Paul II, Proclaimer of Justice gala dinner and silent auction Saturday at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 606 E. Washington St., Medina.
The social hour and silent auction begin at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7.
Another award will be presented to Behind Bars and Beyond, an ecumenical re-entry ministry/criminal justice reform group in Wooster, which will receive the Michael Berken Peace and Justice Award.
Operation HOMES has 11 host churches in Medina County that are involved in serving the homeless. The host churches take in people for a week at a time. Partner churches provide meals.
Operation HOMES doesn’t take in everyone. There are rules and regulations. Homeless individuals must go through background checks and get fingerprinted.
“It’s for people serious about getting their life on track,” McCaudy said.
The nonprofit has stringent rules on drugs and alcohol, which are forbidden. If the group discovers that people are using those substances, they are asked to leave.
“We hook up with other community organizations, if needed,” she said.
If people have difficulties with parenting or managing their money, they are referred to agencies for help.
In 2016, Operation HOMES said it served 60 adults and 10 children. Operation HOMES receives some funds from grants, while its main funding is from individuals, community groups and member churches.
McCaudy said donations are accepted at Operation HOMES, P.O. Box 326, Medina, OH 44258. The website is www.operationhomes.org.
Officials said the group needs donations for assistance with bus tokens, gas cards and car repairs.
To refer individuals or families, call the Medina Metropolitan Housing Authority at (330) 725-7531 or local police.
“The Catholic Commission is proud to honor these two groups who carry out such important work in their communities with vulnerable neighbors and to promote positive community improvement,” said Jeff Campbell, director of the Catholic Commission of Wayne, Ashland and Medina.
Reservations for Saturday’s event are $30. To make a reservation, or reserve a table of eight at a special rate, contact Campbell at (330) 723-9615, ext. 11, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or email@example.com.