The McPherson-based Omega Project is working to renovate a house that will serve as a new induction house for the program.
The Omega Project seeks to help men who are wishing to improve their lives. Most of the men have addiction problems and many of the men would be otherwise homeless. “We are excited to be taking another step in our program,” David Case, program founder, said.
The induction house will be the first in the program to have full-time 24-hour staffing. It will be new participants’ first stop in the program, Case said. He said program staff have found the longer men stay in the program, the better chances they have maintaining their sobriety. Staff members recommend at least a year in the program, during which time the men receive counseling, find jobs and volunteer in the community.
Men would spend at least their first three months in the program at the induction house, where they can receive an introduction to the program and more intense assistance. Case said he hopes the more focused work with participants in the program at the front end will result in better outcomes for the men in the long run.
“I think this will allow us to be successful with a wider variety of people,” he said.
Case said he hopes the other four houses in the Omega Project could eventually have full-time staff, but the program has lacked funding to fully staff any of the houses until this point.
The project gets three to five calls per week seeking assistance for men in the area. All of the project’s houses are full, and the program is currently maintaining a waiting list.
Case said he estimates the program has saved the community $2 million since its inception by keeping men working in the community and out of corrections.
The house at 117 N. Olivette, was purchased by the project as a foreclosure. The program is in the process of gutting and renovating the house, which Case said he hopes to have open by the first of March. vCase had been looking at several homes to expand the project, but he said he knew when he walked into the Olivette property, it was the one.
“We saw an incredible gold mine here,” he said. “It needs a facelift, but we see its potential.”
The older home has required new wiring, new plumping and improvements to HVAC system. The rooms in the house also are being remodeled to accommodate eight men and two staff members, an office and social spaces.
The house includes a two-car garage, which Case said staff hope to remodel into living spaces. They would like to include an induction room. This would house a participant when he first comes into the program, so staff could observe his behavior before he is introduced into the house’s general population. When that room is not being used by a project participant, Case said he hopes it could be used to house homeless men who need temporary lodging. Sometimes participants in the program do construction work on projects like the induction house, but Case said almost all of the participants in the program are employed right now. Neil Lutgen, program director, and Johnathan Beyard, program participant, have been working on projects in the house in their free time.
Page 2 of 2 - Beyard, who is coming up on his two-year sobriety anniversary, said the program was the best thing that ever happened to him.
“They have helped me through my most difficult times,” he said. “It feels good to help other men.”
The project will have invested about $96,000 in the project once it is completed. About $5,000 has been raised specifically for the induction house, other funds will come from the project’s general fund and through financing.
Donations can be sent to the Omega Project, 1064 14th Ave., McPherson. The Omega Project is a 501(c)3, and donations are tax deductible.
“We operate minute to minute. Our operating costs are in the $10,000 zone,” Case said. “We end up trusting in God day by day for our needs. We trust in God’s faithfulness.”