The house at 521 N. Maple St. looks more like a construction zone than a home right now.
But for the men living there, the house has hope and promise.

The house at 521 N. Maple St. looks more like a construction zone than a home right now.
But for the men living there, the house has hope and promise.
The house is the latest project for the Omega Project, a program for men trying to better their lives, many of whom have struggled with addiction.
The program currently has 27 male participants but will have capacity for 30 when the Maple house is completed. David Case, program founder, said the program regularly gets referrals, but the program is at capacity. The new house will provided needed space.
The project paid about $100,000 for the house, which Case estimated to be about 100 years old. The project anticipates it will invest another $40,000 into remodeling the home.
The program is trying to raise at least $20,000 more toward the cost of the Maple house project in order to keep the program’s mortgage payment as low as possible, Case said.
The program has no permanent source of funding and relies on fundraisers and donations to support its operating costs and expansions, such as the Maple house.
The Omega Project will have its annual Battle of the Chefs Soup Cook-off from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the McPherson Community Building, 122 E. Marlin St., McPherson.
Soups, desserts and auction items will be provided by area churches and businesses. All donations will benefit the Omega Project. For more information or to donate, contact Barb Walter at 316-619-1044 or the office at 620-241-1371.
The project was in desperate need of more space, so men moved into the unrenovated space this spring.
Work has been ongoing since to add bedrooms, remodel bathrooms, replace antiquated wiring, improve the heating and air system, as well as complete other upgrades.
When the house is remodeled, it will have eight bedrooms, and be able to house eight men.
Egress windows have been added to the basement, and two bedrooms of that floor already have been finished. The basement also will have a bathroom, utility room, storage area and community room once renovations are complete.
Last week, men from the project were working on the second floor of the home. There, a bathroom is being remodeled as well as multiple bedrooms and a community room.
Most of the men in the project either work outside the program or on projects like the house renovation. Those men pay rent back to the program. However, the real benefit to the community, Case says, comes in what the men are able to give back to the community.
Local officials have conservatively estimated the program has saved the community more than $1 million in its seven years of its existence, including avoided costs to incarcerate individuals, paid child support, and paid fines and court costs.
The Omega Project also continues to work on a number of other projects.
Last year the project completed a major remodel to a house on Olivette Street in McPherson, which many of the men call the Alpha House. The project is still trying to raise funds to remodel the garage of the home into more living quarters.
Case said the project had hoped to make that remodeled space into a temporary homeless shelter. The goal was to make that space available of people who may have an need for emergency shelter, but not be a candidate for the longer term Omega Project curriculum.
Case is trying to create curriculum material for the project. He has written books, but most of the program is not formalized at this time. He is hoping to put some of the program’s lessons onto video.
The program also is working to connect better with community by building community partners and creating an outreach programs for women. Although all the people in the project’s residential program are men, Case said the program has seen a need to work with the men’s wives.
“We have found that in order for the men to be successful, we need to be in the women’s lives,” he said.
In 2014, the program also hopes to open the Omega Lawn Service, which will offer mowing and landscaping to individuals and businesses. This program would allow the men to earn a wage, but have time to work on their recovery goals as well, Case said.