A call lingers around the old building, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Sharon Foskey said the discipleship ministry will be a place for ladies broken and beaten down to receive healing and restoration.
“We are going to walk alongside them. Mercy Restoration Center will house women with any kind of life issue. No leaving anybody out,” said Sharon Foskey, director. “Whether it be drugs, prostitution, abuse of any kind, the motherless, the fatherless or depression, they can come to Mercy Restoration Center.”
Foskey is adamant the center will not be a homeless shelter. MRC will be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization associated with United Faith Church. All interested will go through an application and interview process with the center’s board. Approved women will be in the program anywhere from three months to a year.
It is hard to determine whether “structured” or “supportive” describes the center best. Only staff will be allowed to have cars and cellphones. Those in the program will be expected to clean, cook and enage in the center’s activities. These activities include but are not limited to group outings, an exercise program, computer classes, job skills, how to can food and taking an assessment of strengths and weaknesses.
Members must find a part-time job at six months. A portion of their paychecks will go back into the center. They will receive some money to work on their management skills. At nine months they will receive a full-time job. Half of their paycheck amount will go into a personal savings account. All graduates of the program will have housing equipped with furniture, a full-time job, and a savings account.
All of the program’s members’ needs will be taken care of, Foskey said.
“We intend to give them the skills they need to succeed in life. We will introduce them to Jesus, not demand they accept Jesus,” Foskey said.
Continued Foskey, “...If they want an education, then we are going to bridge the gap with Cleveland State. Whatever these women need we will find a way to provide.”
There will be three sleeping rooms at the center. Two bunk beds will be situated in each room. The ideal number for the program is 10 clients at a time with a full-time female and male staff member. Foskey said the male staff will not sleep in the same room as the females. He will be utilized as extra safety for the women.
Before Foskey and her team can help the clients, she said she needs the community’s help to make the center possible.
“They have given us free rent for the first month [until Feb. 25]. This is where I need the help of the community,” Foskey said. “At Heavenly Treasures we do not make a lot of money. Everything goes back into the ministry and pays the bills.”
Foskey is asking for 100 people, 100 churches or a combination of both to pledge a covenant with the center for $100 a month.
“This will guarantee we will be able to operate here and no one coming in here will lack anything they need,” Foskey said.
She asked for skilled laborers, volunteers and donations for everything from books to computer systems and hardwood.
“These computers do not have to be state-of-the-art. If you want to give [newer ones] that is fine, but I will take the dinosaurs,” Foskey said.
She asked people to remember the need in their own backyards.
“Overseas mission work is needed and it is a wonderful thing. When I watch those stories for Feed the Children, and I see those little babies with their bellies out, it makes me cry. It touches my heart,” Foskey said.
“We have a mission field right here. We have people starving to death right here. We have people who do not have homes right here.”
Continued Foskey, “We have mothers and fathers out there who do not know how they are going to feed their children tonight.”
She said the need is all around Cleveland and Bradley County.
“It is the very same thing you see which so breaks our heart and touches us is right here in our own backyard,” Foskey said.