Open Arms Ministries was founded in 2009, as a collaboration between a coalition of faith communities in Richmond, Indiana. These congregations had wondered, “Are there ways we can cooperate to help families that contact our churches, needing help with their rent and utilities?”
By pooling volunteers, expertise, and funds a new organization was born, focused on relief and hope. In time, the resources the congregations brought to founding Open Arms were augmented by the generosity of individual donors, as well as various religious and secular granting organizations. Recent granting organizations have included the Alvarez-Bohanon Family Charitable Trust, the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, the First Friends Foundation, Reid Community Benefits, the United Way of the Whitewater Valley, the Wayne County Foundation, and the Women’s Fund.
Throughout our history, we’ve been focused on keeping people in their homes; with access to safe drinking water, sanitation, electricity, and heat. Many of the people we help fall between the cracks of eligibility for other assistance programs.
We also work to prevent future crises. Every client receiving relief funds for rent or utilities also undergoes a mini, individual, budget education session. Periodically through any given year we also offer educational programs designed to equip specific vulnerable populations with skills and wisdom that can empower them towards long-term sustainability, and a more hope-filled future.
Our work has always been collaborative with other agencies and ministries. This allows us to team up to resolve more complicated or larger client needs.
Over the years we have endeavored to be good steward of the resources entrusted to us, so that we can maximize the resources available for client relief, and educational programs.
Our offices have been in multiple locations, generously donated to us rent-free by various organizations and churches. We strategically keep to a small team of gifted and dedicated, part-time staff. And the efforts of this staff-team has been continuously augmented by an ever-evolving community of volunteers and interns.