About Us

In 2010, the community of Independence, Kansas; became aware of a growing and unmet need – homelessness. Area churches and individuals were trying to meet some of the needs by making food available, providing showers and a place to come in out of the weather for parts of the day, …while others housed the homeless in their homes or churches.

Out of this growing concern, Home Sweet Home Ministries, Inc. (HSH) was created by a group of people from several walks of life, who felt called to minister to the homeless and their needs. And, over the years, we have helped hundreds of homeless to find jobs and get back on their feet.

Today, HSH continues to grow the ministry to address needs in the community. In 2018, the ministry opened, Hope House, (Renamed “Bright House” in 2021 in honor of Jerry Bright) a family crisis home to assist displace families – primarily women and children. In 2019 a second building in Independence was acquired and upgraded to house and help families to overcome temporary distress situations. We named it, Henson House, in honor of one of our volunteer members, Bill Henson.

We have learned from our experience with the Hope and Henson Houses; that the need for helping families is astronomical in this area. The Henson House is organized like Hope House for mothers with children and families who suddenly lost their livelihood and home.

We have two transitional houses for those transitioning into their new homes. Currently, one of those transitional homes will be used for homeless Veterans.

Our vision:

  • Help homeless people re-establish their lives.
  • Continue to acquire and develop more family and women’s crisis housing.
  • Find people, churches, and groups that are willing to join us in our
    ministry of restoration.
  • Focus on the special needs of homeless Veterans.
Our Director:

Chris Mitchell has been the HSH Director since 2013. He has dedicated himself to helping the homeless in our shelters to restore themselves to a productive place in society and to help displaced families pick up the pieces and move to a permanent home.

Men’s Homeless Shelter:

A.)The HSH Men’s Homeless Shelter offers temporary housing for up to eight residents. Men who are accepted into the shelter are not only economically poor, but spiritually poor as well. HSH provides residents with the necessary resources and support they need to gain self-sufficient living in an atmosphere of dignity, integrity, and respect. The shelter serves adult men 18 years old and above.

The Men’s Homeless Shelter prepares residents for success by:

  • Providing ongoing mentoring.
  • Requiring all residents complete the “Momentum” program. (Momentum is a 14-week program whose mission is to inspire individuals to realize their dreams and achieve self-sufficiency by providing hope, resources and a plan.)
  • Providing assistance in acquiring employment.
Family Crisis Homes:

B.) The Hope House (Renamed “Bright House” in 2021 in honor of Jerry Bright), a family crisis home was donated to HSH by the Community Mission for Improved Housing, Inc. of Independence. It was opened in January of 2018 and residents were placed immediately. The Hope House (Bright House) offers up to 6-months of temporary housing for displaced families – primarily women and children. Residents of the home live there at no cost. HSH provides:

  • On-going mentoring.
  • Assistance in acquiring employment.
  • Food, clothing, and household living needs.

C.) The Henson House was donated to HSH by the Henson family in honor of one of our volunteers, Bill Henson. It was completed in November of 2019. The Henson House offers up to 6-months of temporary housing for displaced families – primarily women and children. Residents of the home live there at no cost. HSH provides:

  • On-going mentoring.
  • Assistance in acquiring employment.
  • Food, clothing, and household living needs.
D. Transitional Housing:

We have two transitional houses which are used for those waiting or needing a little help before their new home is open. Currently, one of those transitional homes will be used for Veterans. As work progresses on the homeless Veteran’s House, the Independence Daily Reporter will update readers.

In Conclusion:

HSH Homeless Ministry, INC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization EIN#81-4589851.  It was started as a shelter and recovery ministry for homeless men.  With full occupancy (eight men), the weekly budget was around $400/week or $22,000/year.

The men’s shelter at Home, Sweet, Home is named after Alan Runyan, a homeless man who resided briefly in Independence a few years ago.  Alan awakened the hearts of the First Christian Church to understanding the plight of the homeless and to begin a ministry to them, which eventually led to our men’s shelter on Laurel Street.  We became our own 501(c)(3) organization in 2016.

We now have: two Family Shelters (primarily for mother’s and their children) Hope House and Bright House; and two transitional houses. With this new growth our current fiscal year spending has grown to more than $50,000.  We continue to be funded by local donations and charitable organizations.  We are committed to being a community-driven, financially stable ministry.

HSH ministry has a Board which consists of community and church representatives.  A director who provides organic facility focus and arranges admission and behavioral compliance.  The Board meets monthly (1st Thursday) and reviews director’s report, budget and expense report.

Statistics (2020 Covid Lockdown):

HSH Board / Directors / Volunteers

Christopher Mitchell, Director

Dr. Jürgen Hanke, President

Debbie Malone, Vice-President

Carol Henson, Secretary

Renita Butler, Treasurer & Governance Committee

Jean Clark, Financial Secretary & Mentor

Ned Stichman, Finance Audit

Ethel Landis, Mentor

Sister Annrene Brau, Mentor

Dana Gorman, Financial Audit & Governmance Commitee

Jason Sperling, Counselor & Mentor

Beverly Collins, Mentor

Matt Alford, Maintenance

Tony Bray, Maintenance

Poem by Daniel Dieudonne

I tripped, I stumbled, I fell
I reached out my hand to the Lord
He picked me up & He brushed me off
And He held me close to His heart
I looked up at Him with tears in my eyes
And a quiver on my lips
And He said to me, child don’t be afraid
For I am the Savior of all
Now I walk by His side, holding His hand
Looking so proud & feeling so grand
For I fear no evil with God by my side
I walk with Him now, day & night

7/12/2011 Daniel Dieudonne (Written by one of our first residents.)

Matthew 25:40 New International Version (NIV)
 “…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”