Since 2006, CrossRoads of Owensboro has worked diligently to combat poverty and homelessness in Daviess County. Originally located in the basement of New Life Church, CrossRoads initially began as a soup kitchen, but the vision to serve grew.
Now located at 1631 Breckinridge Street, in addition to serving hot meals to some 3,000 plus people a month, CrossRoads now serves as an emergency overnight shelter for women and children. Setting them apart from others, they are also currently the only emergency walk-in shelter offering these services exclusively.
“We opened our doors up as an emergency overnight shelter for women and children in 2016,” said Michele Ison, Executive Director of CrossRoads Inc. “We had always fed the hungry of Owensboro, and by offering this service, it just further grew our vision.”
From 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily, the doors are open for guests who seek refuge. Volunteers from throughout the community donate their time to help the “mission” speak continue, but there are still needs to be met to ensure the future of CrossRoads.
“Our needs change from time to time. Factors like the weather and seasons affect that,” Ison said.
Dependent entirely on the generosity of others, CrossRoads does not receive federal or state funding for operations. Since September of 2016, nearly 400 women and children have benefitted from the emergency shelter alone. Countless others throughout the community have been given hope provided by the additional services of the non-profit.
Although donations like air mattresses, clothing, and food are always appreciated, Ison noted an additional way to give that is often just as beneficial.
“Our facility is always in need of various items, but those needs differ greatly depending on the situation. Gift cards to stores such as Wal-Mart are honestly one of the best ways to give, allowing us the flexibility to obtain items when they are needed, rather than collect them over time,” Ison said. “Storage is often a concern for us because of space issues and adding items as we need them sometimes is just more practical.”
Ison additionally added that CrossRoads would be happy to provide receipts to donors who choose to contribute in the form of a gift card. This allows donors to see exactly how their contribution was used.
“We are always in need of volunteers,” Ison said. “Our website has an online application. Shadowing a current volunteer is also a great way to see what CrossRoads is about.”
CrossRoads hopes to help “transform” the community it serves by building relationships and interacting with all who enter their facility. Core values like acceptance, compassion, and dignity embody the foundation the non-profit was built on.
“We started out just feeding hungry people; our efforts to serve have increased since then, and we hope they continue well into the future,” Ison said.
For more resources and information about CrossRoads Inc. please visit their website at www.crossroadsowensboro.org