Church's Homes For Homeless Getting Overcrowded

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - After God's Own Heart Restoration Church in Midland is reaching out to the community to try to get some much-needed finances.

Drug addicts, gang members, prostitutes, the homeless, all are welcome in the Church's two homes and the new lease on life they try to bring.

As someone who had a drug problem 11 years ago in Chicago, the Church's pastor knows the importance of the homes all too well.

"We let those know, that maybe don't have hope, that there is hope in Jesus Christ," Pastor James Williams, said. "They don't have to be strung up on drugs and think they have to die that way or on alcohol or maybe they're cast out of their family."

The Church has been operating their men's and women's homes in Midland for nearly three years. In that time, they've housed between 500-600 people.

The only problem is both homes can't house more than 20 people and become overcrowded fast.

The Church is hoping to expand to a bigger church with more rooms and beds in it but so far they just don't have the money.

"I don't want to turn anyone away," Williams said. "Not only that, I don't believe anything that belongs to God and God's kingdom should shut down."

The Church doesn't want to turn away anyone who needs help like women's house resident Laverne Barnes, who found herself a wanderer in Midland after Hurricane Katrina separated her from her family in New Orleans.

"Me being a person who used drugs and alcohol, I became a wanderer of the street," Barnes said. "I was able to find a place that was open to me, allowed me a place to stay and change and just have a place to live as God restored my life, and it happened."

The Church operates entirely on donations of money, clothes and furniture for the homes.

Those who stay can live there anywhere between nine months to a year to try to change their life around.

For Dwight Darrell, who went from house resident to house supervisor, that chance can mean everything.

"I was bound on drugs and alcohol in Oklahoma City," he said. "I think they are very important. You've just got to want to apply yourself to the principles of the homes. There's rules and regulations everywhere you go but you've just got to really want it."

If you'd like to help, you can call the Church at (432) 685-3113.