Over the course of the last four years, Pastor Nick Dyrud of Emmaus Lutheran Church in Bloomington and his family along with several others within the Emmaus congregation have been working with Together for Good, an organization that connects trusted volunteers to assist mothers facing crisis situations with respite care for their children.
“It’s been a great blessing to be a part of this process of creating pathways for the church to come alongside vulnerable children and families with Christ-centered ministry, needed physical assistance and social support,” said Dyrud. “Over the course of this process we have grown in our understanding of the great need to go even further.”
Earlier this year, Pastor Dyrud and the church were able to take another step in truly affecting the housing crisis. On the grounds of Emmaus Lutheran Church there was a home built in 1952 for the minister and his family who were serving the congregation.
Now named the House of Hope, this home was remodeled with the help of the Housing First Minnesota Foundation and their build partner Homes by Tradition.
“Respite care alone is not enough to get mothers and children out of the cycle of poverty,” said Dyrud. “That is where we are missing out as a church; we needed to help offer resources to wrap around these parents and support them in this stage of life.”
The home was completely remodeled from floor to ceiling and will help house women and their children facing life crises get back on their feet. Pastor Dyrud hopes that this program will offer them an opportunity to live in House of Hope while receiving education and employment assistance, nutrition and healthy living classes, as well as mentoring.
“Imagine what this could provide for a mother with young children who is striving to make ends meet, living on the streets, without any trusted, reliable or safe support from family or friends,” said Dyrud. “From the renovation and construction of the home, to the hands-on work with each family, and everything in between, we all play a role in helping those in great need. We look forward to opening this new chapter at the House of Hope; so that those in the greatest of need find a place of stability and safety, a home where they can rest and find hope.”