Our history began back in the Spring of 2015, when God place a calling on our Founder and Director, Br. Richard Godigkeit’s heart to “Serve Others”. Some time passed as he discerned who he was being called to serve, but the Lord made clear it was the least of His children specifically the poor, hungry and homeless populations in his home town of Manassas, Virginia.
Manassas Hunger & Homeless Outreach (MH&HO) was conceived in the Summer of 2015 and held its first food drive in the Fall to benefit the NVFS/SERVE Homeless Shelter’s Food Pantry.
In January 2016 MH&HO participated in its first of many Point-In-Time (PIT) counts of the homeless partnering with a team from the SERVE shelter to enumerate the area’s unsheltered homeless.
Starting in February 2016 Richard lead a small team of volunteers in launching MH&HO’s weekly Sunday Homeless outreach. Quickly our fledgling ministry was surrounded by community volunteers and partnerships that allowed not only the weekly delivery of meals but the bringing of the Good News of the Gospel message to those we served. Our ministry stepped out in faith based on Richard’s calling to perform the outreach weekly regardless of the weather and faithfully God met us providing volunteers, donations and partnerships.
As 2016 unfolded the community response to our outreach grew significantly. By the end of 2016 we had held 45 weekly outreach events, served over 925 donated meals, collected over 2,250 pounds of food for local food pantries from three food drives and began programs to help those we serve obtain identification (e.g., photo IDs, birth certificates, and Social Security cards) and placement in substance abuse treatment programs. We also held our inaugural community cleanup of the woods surrounding the Manassas homeless camps to improve the unsheltered homeless camp resident’s environment.
In early 2017 our MH&HO Leadership team began meeting monthly. We planned and conducted several special events including an Easter Outreach, an additional community cleanup partnering with Keep Prince William Clean and other partners that provided food, drink and most importantly dumpsters. MH&HO continued partnering with local churches to serve the unsheltered homeless and supported the winter hypothermia shelter.
In the Spring of 2017 we added the word “Ministries” to our name to emphasis the Christ centered nature of our calling and services and we launched our website http://www.mhhoministries.org. The leadership team also crafted and adopted our Vision, Mission, and Values statements.
In September 2017 MH&HO Ministries, Inc. was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia as religious non-profit organization. As 2017 drew to a close MH&HO Ministries had expanded to twenty (20) church and ministry partners and half a dozen corporate and civic partners.
In early 2018 MH&HO Ministries received its 501(c)(3) non-profit tax exemption status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). We had a wonderful year full of change and growth as many of those we serve transitioned out of homelessness into temporary and permanent housing. Our transformational Christ Centered programs touched more lives in 2018 and we grew both our board of directors and our church and ministry partners to a total of twenty-five (25) partners.
We look forward to 2019 being a year of growth for our ministry allowing us to better serve those in need in our community. MH&HO thanks our wonderful volunteers, contributors, partners but especially our faithful great God whom we serve and are passionate about sharing with others.