Children in volatile community find hope and health through local ministry


Open House Ministries is a ministry actively seeking to alleviate hunger and poverty in Homestead, Florida. They receive funds from the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, which help OHM in a variety of ways:
  • Providing healthy snacks for 70 students after school daily
  • Teaching elementary-aged students about nutrition and healthy eating habits as they help grow vegetables in six community garden beds
  • Interacting with youth and children through homework assistance, Bible stories, music, art, sports and computer training

Open House Ministries is a community ministry, which rose up out of needs following Hurricane Andrew 23 years ago. What began as a disaster relief effort turned into a way to impact children and youth in a low-income area plagued by violence and addiction.

Wanda Ashworth, site director, shared the Homestead community faces many social issues, including a crime rate four times higher than the national average. Open House Ministries has become a light in the darkness, and a safe haven for children and youth in a volatile community.

Wanda has seen lives changed through the intentional relationships offered at OHM, where now 60 percent of the staff were former students. Through their after-school program, students are provided with healthy snacks, nutrition education and a caring environment. Many of the students attend failing schools, so academic support and access to technology are vital to their success and ending the cycle of poverty in which they live.

One example of the incredible, life-changing work of OHM is Maria. She came to the ministry eight years ago as a second grader who immigrated from Guatemala. Maria did not speak English and had trouble controlling her anger. Through years of loving, teaching and encouraging her, now Maria is one of the high school student leaders for OHM. Weekly, she helps students with homework as serves as a role model.

Pray for Open House Ministries:

  • Pray for the safety of OHM students
    • 60% of OHM children and youth self-report that they live in a home where someone is struggling with addiction
  • Pray for the health of the students
    • 43% of OHM children (under 18 years of age) are living below the poverty level
    • 97% of OHM children qualify for free/reduced lunch
  • Pray for new initiatives to support the parents of OHM students

Save the Date!

May 10, 2015 - Every mother deserves a day, and every child deserves a meal. Celebrate this Mother's Day by supporting ministries like Hands in Service, which seek to end hunger, through the Mother's Day Hunger Offering. Learn more at texasbaptists.org/hungeroffering.

Related articles: Satisfying hunger: A Texas Baptist Hunger Offering story / Meeting needs on the border: A Texas Baptist Hunger Offering story / Texas Baptists churches partner to provide water for struggling Liberian community