Downtown Fredericksburg congregations have been involved with our community’s homeless population since the late 1980s, when they opened their church buildings as shelter space and provided meals to those in need. However, as the area’s original shelter program, now the Thurman Brisben Center, grew and redeveloped its programs, many people who lived chronically on the street found themselves ineligible for those services due to unmedicated mental illnesses, disabilities, criminal backgrounds and other barriers. After the churches helped the Thurman Brisben facility relocate to a new building in the Battlefield Industrial park in 2005, a number of those original congregations came together to organize ways of assisting those whose needs were not being met. In response to God’s call to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8), they formed Micah Ecumenical Ministries as a 501(c)3 non-profit responsible for coordinating church efforts to build a better community. By Spring, a hospitality center had opened in the basement of Trinity Episcopal Church to assist with the basic needs of those living on the street. By Winter, the churches had formally organized a cold weather shelter to keep those who would otherwise sleep outside on frigid nights from freezing to death. Ever since, Micah’s programs have been evolving to offer a greater holistic system of care, including connection to community resources, mental health outreach, disability application assistance, post-hospital respite care, supportive employment, educational advancement, housing placement and re-creation of the support systems necessary for people to stabilize outside of their present crisis.
Micah is a Christ-centered community supporting people experiencing chronic homelessness and identifying pathways to sustainable housing.
To end homelessness in the Fredericksburg region.
Do Justice by:
• Being a community conscience
• Responding to unmet needs
• Offering hope
Love Kindness by:
• Fostering relationships of trust, respect and mutual support
• Acknowledging every person’s dignity
• Providing holistic care that empowers those in need to accept ownership and responsibility
Walk humbly with God by:
• Continuing the work of Christ
• Practicing servant-leadership
• Educating and mentoring the community to care for “the least of these”
WHO WE SERVE
The chronically homeless often face barriers such as mental health, disabilities, substance abuse, and loss of supportive relationships. These barriers limit their access to assistance resources. Our ministry at Micah seeks to overcome such barriers by bringing the community together in a holistic approach that serves all of our neighbors’ needs.