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There is a Christian based homeless shelter in our community called "Freedom for Youth Ministries." They provide shelter, food, schooling, and others to teens who are homeless in Des Moines, IA.

Our Mission
Freedom for Youth Ministries offers the love of Jesus Christ to homeless and at-risk youth which empowers them to break bondages in their lives, discover their God-given purpose and lead a life filled with faith, hope and love.

To unite the Christian community to reach out to our lost and hurting youth in Des Moines and empower them to demonstrate their love for Jesus through sharing their time and talents with the youth we serve.

Freedom for Youth Ministries will work to:

  • Share the gospel of Jesus Christ as the foundation of true renewal and hope in life.
  • Unite the churches, who also focus on Jesus, His death and resurrection, to empower them to serve as they are called.
  • Love the youth unconditionally as Christ did without regard to race, past history or current condition.
  • Offer a safe and loving ministry for youth, volunteers, and staff, which stimulates spiritual growth in their life.
  • Operate a ministry that is above reproach in its fiscal responsibility, integrity and perception in the community.

Views: 19

Comment by Jake Baird on March 6, 2010 at 3:03pm
They do not force it on anyone. They just offer it along with other things. It is just "based" from the church/religion.
Comment by Amanda Jeffrey on March 6, 2010 at 3:38pm
It's a difficult one this, on the one hand, something like this gives the very vulnerable and down on their luck access to education, training, and advice on planning - but on the other hand, these are people who may not be of the Christian faith and at their most susceptible to suggestion and/or willing to endure anything to get off the streets. For those who follow the Christian faith, such a place would seem the perfect mix of both practical and faith based help - but for those who don't, it would be likely to come across as a well intentioned trap.

I think this is an instance where 'Don't fight culture' comes into play. It's a shame that the group doesn't offer these things in a secular manner - available to people of any/all/no religious inclination - but if they're going to limit their activities to young Christian males between the ages of 18-21, then that is at least some people helped, and other groups can try to help the others.
Comment by Jake Baird on March 6, 2010 at 3:44pm
I have been there myself. I don't know why the 18-21 males is on the website. I have seen more than just males there. They also do schooling and activities. Yes they are based on religion and have it available. But you voluntarily go there, they just ask that since they took the time to prepare a meal, that you voluntarily take the time to listen what they are all about. Its up to them if they want to stay around for it or not.
Comment by Amanda Jeffrey on March 6, 2010 at 3:54pm
I imagine they're in a difficult position. The people who sponsor their work probably want to encourage these young people to start afresh in the Christian faith, and are trying to do that in the least intrusive way possible - and I can't blame them for wanting to do that. Almost all religions do! However, if you look at it from the point of view of a staunchly non-Christian person (whether Islamic, Athiest, Buddhist, or other) then it would seem like a guilt-based system preying on the grateful and desperate - "We've fed you - now the least you can do is listen to how much better you'd be if you were a member of OUR faith!". I realize that's a very VERY cynical way of looking at it, but that's how some people will see it.

As I say - it's a very difficult situation, and I like to look at it from the point that there are good people helping an unfortunate segment of their community - but there are others who need help just as much who will not find their help to their liking, and alternatives are needed.
Comment by Jake Baird on March 6, 2010 at 4:01pm
I agree. I can see it from both sides.
Comment by Clayton Wilson on March 6, 2010 at 4:29pm
"I think this is an instance where 'Don't fight culture' comes into play." Define culture.
Comment by Amanda Jeffrey on March 6, 2010 at 8:32pm
Culture definition as taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

Main Entry: cul·ture
Pronunciation: \ˈkəl-chər\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, cultivated land, cultivation, from Anglo-French, from Latin cultura, from cultus, past participle
Date: 15th century
1 : cultivation, tillage
2 : the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education
3 : expert care and training
4 a : enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training b : acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills
5 a : the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations b : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life} shared by people in a place or time c : the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization d : the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated ...


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