The Omega House is celebrating the opening of its fifth house on Sunday with an open house from 2 to 4 p.m.
The home at 117 N. Olivette in McPherson, which opened in July, can accommodate six men and will be able to accommodate up to eight men when it is fully remodeled.
The Omega Project is a spiritually based nonprofit residential program that helps men better their lives. Many of the men in the program have had substance abuse issues. The entire program can accommodate up to 27 men at this point.
The program purchased the home on Olivette and remodeled at a cost of about $100,000. Men who are in the program did the bulk of the remodeling work.
The house had to be rewired and replumbed. New floor coverings and windows were installed throughout the house, as well as new kitchen cabinets, insulation and an air conditioner. The house also was reroofed and painted.
The Omega Project offers one-on-one counseling to the men in its program in addition to church services and Bible study.
The men are required to have jobs as they are able.
The new house has a large living room with a fire place, which will serve as a meeting area. On Tuesdays and Fridays, the men meet in a group, and on Fridays, the house has a church service. The men are additionally required to attend Bible study on Wednesday nights and church on Sundays.
“A lot of the work is done with individual attention on a one-on-one basis,” David Case, program founder said. “Sometimes its tough, and sometimes its easy. The men give each other strength and help each other. We bring issues to forefront and find ways for them to learn and grow.”
House leaders, many of whom have been through the program, help reinforce that individual work.
Case said the program leaders try to look at the men’s issues in spiritual terms and go beyond the surface issues of addiction, homelessness or incarceration.
Some men have problems with authority. Others have issue with insecurity or rejection, and others have issues with bitterness, Case said.
Michael Cromwell, the Olivette house leader, is in his second stint with the Omega Project.
He first became acquainted with Case and the project while he was in jail. His family had cut ties with him, and he had a number of failed attempts at rehab.
He spent two years in the Omega Project before striking out on his own. After a year, he fell back into his old ways and returned to the program.
He has been back in the program nine months and is doing well.
“I would not be able to live life without this right now,” Cromwell said.
Page 2 of 2 - The program is hoping to raise more money in order to remodel the Olivette house’s garage, which will cost about $20,000. At that point, an induction program will be located at the house.
This means people entering the program will be interviewed and initially live in a room at the Olivette House.
Once the project’s staff has been able to briefly observe the new participant, he will be moved to a long-term placement in one of the program’s houses.
In addition to the induction rooms at the Olivette House, the program would like to create a more formalized induction program for men coming into the Omega Project.
Case said the program has discovered that men who stay in the program at least 12 to 18 months tend to have better results.
“The induction program would expose men to who we are what we do,” said Neil Lutgen, a program leader. “I think we have a greater opportunity to address their issues quicker and more thoroughly.”
Case said he hopes the induction program will increase retention in the program.
“It may take 20 years for a person to destroy their life,” he said. “It takes time to turn that around. They may not even be aware of what they are doing. It may take a mentor to share with them this is something they need to work on.”
Case said the program has a consistent demand for more services. The program is supported through donations without a permanent funding source.
Case said the program would like to hire permanent paid staff to fully implement the induction program and will continue to expand to new houses as finances allows.