Agape House, Inc. exists to provide "A place where God's love meets peoples' needs." Our mission is to create a healthy, caring community where people feel respected, are fed, clothed, housed, grow in faith and gain the self-esteem needed for a successful, self-sufficient life.
AGAPE HOUSE HISTORY
Agape House, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization founded in 1983 by Carolyn L. De Borja. Mrs. De Borja desired to serve low income inner city families and children. She structured Agape House as a mission ministry designed to meet the basic needs of the impoverished communities located within Southwest Baltimore. Over the years, Agape House Inc. has been staffed with volunteers primarily.
The operations and programs of the Agape House are funded by private resources, foundations, unencumbered government sources, and church communities. Today, with a bare bones staff of six, a twelve-member Board of Directors and scores of volunteers, the organization operates and manages its programs with an annual operating budget of $260,000 and very low overhead costs that has been below 18% historically. Last year our social enterprise program (i.e., Agape House Catering) provided programmatic funding for our ministries in the amount of $85,500.00.
Agape House Catering/Social Enterprise Program
The Agape House Catering Company is a social enterprise that serves as a job readiness program for hospitality and catering employment training, which also provides work ethic training, Safe Serve Certification, healthy and nutritional food preparation classes. We provide our clients/trainees/employees with extensive wrap-around services and support systems (i.e., our programs consists of interns) from the University of Maryland, the University of Baltimore, Morgan State University, and/or Coppin State University under the instruction of a licensed social worker/field instructor. We work with and/or employ inner-city and high risk young adults and adults with major barriers such as educational limitations, addictions and/or criminal records that may otherwise prevent them from obtaining gainful employment. Many of the young adults we employ are recruited from the Mayor's Office of Employment Development, as Agape House has served as a summer worksite for Youth Works for the last 18 years as a summer jobs program.
Agape House Catering is a licensed on-site and off-site caterer, insured and bonded to do business in the state of Maryland and has been operating as a social enterprise for Agape House Inc. for the last 16 years.
Agape House Catering has a diverse menu and a variety of menu options. We cater for both personal and professional events: everything from business picnics and banquets to birthday parties and weddings. There is a lot of competition in the local area; however, we believe that our customized options and social mission set us apart from them. The management team consists of employees that have risen through the ranks. Many of our employees have been the women who have lived in the shelter and high risk youth in the surrounding neighborhoods. We presently have 7 full-time employees, 8 part-time employees, and 11 contractual employees.
Our customer base is 70% from business events for other non-profit organizations (e.g. South Baltimore Learning Center, University of Maryland, University of Baltimore, Bon Secours Medical System, Associated Black Charities), many private businesses in Baltimore and the surrounding counties, and many private and public educational institutions, with about 30% of our business coming from personal/private events such as birthday parties, weddings, and picnics. Our customer base is very diverse and offers our employees a rich and rewarding educational and professional experience.
Agape House has housed as many as 28 children at a time. During the years that we housed children only, most of the children's parents were in long-term treatment centers or incarcerated. Over a fifteen year span (1983-1998) we cared for over 600 children under the directions of our founder Carolyn L. De Borja. Due to limited funding and Carolyn L. DeBorga's objections to state funding our Board of Directors decided to limit our liability exposure by housing both mothers and children in 1988.
EMERGENCY SHELTER/TRANSITIONAL HOUSING ONE FOOT UP PROGRAM:
Since 1998 Agape House has served as an emergency shelter and a transitional housing program for women and their children. We house between 4-6 families
(24 residents) at any one time and provide wrap-around services, (i.e. our services include an initial assessment, case management, short range and long range planning), financial literacy, parenting skills, basic and GED courses, employment skills/etiquette and a number of volunteer based activities that also help families to regain self-sufficiency, through our comprehensive and spiritual programs. The average residency is 90 days.
What is so unique about Agape House's One Foot up Program? Participants must demonstrate a desire to work hard and/or further their education and remain alcohol and drug free. The program is tailored to fit the needs of our residents on an individual basis. We do not have a time limit as to how long a resident may stay at the Agape house provided that progress is being made by the resident. We provide after care and long-term follow-up for as long as it is needed or wanted by our program participants.
One resident remained at the Agape House for 27 months. During her stay she was able to further her education, develop parenting skills, repair her credit, save a down payment to purchase a home and become self-sufficient. This is only one of many success stories. (For others, access on our website agapehouseinc.com.)
The women's and children transitional house that we provided for the last 27 years is 106 years old. The building has some very serious environmental conditions which has forced us to close it. We have been looking for new locations in the area of our new center in the Rosedale section of the city.
FOOD AND CLOTHING
Agape House provides food for 100 families, 5 senior living facilities, and our shelter residents. FEEDING PROGRAMS are every SUNDAY (after service) at 12:00 noon and WEDNESDAY (after service) at 6:00 pm. The Agape House provides over 1,600 meals to disadvantages individuals in Baltimore each week.
SENIOR FEEDING PROGRAM ON WHEELS
Most of the senior facilities that we service are provided with poultry, and other prepared and/or easy to prepare foods. We also provide detergent and fabric softener via our "Gifts for Grooming Program". This program will provide for our seniors alternative uses for dollars that were earmarked for food to be purchased and they will not have to choose between eating or purchasing medication and paying other vital bills.
ROCK-A-MY-BABY PREGNANCY CRISIS CENTER
The "Rock-A-My-Baby Pregnancy Crisis Center" opened its doors in September of 2009. Its goal is to provide immediate assistance to expecting mothers. It is estimated that there are 35,000 abortions conducted annually in Maryland. The principal problem that this program addresses is best described as an observation that there are entirely too many pregnant teens and young adult aged mothers who are unemployed, homeless, without health care and are disenfranchised from their families and loved ones, making abortion their only option.
The solution of providing crisis intervention to pregnant women is crucial. The choice a woman makes regarding pregnancy will have a profound effect on her body, her relationships, her emotional well-being and countless other aspects of her future. The "Rock-A-My-Baby Pregnancy Crisis Center" can offer the support, information and practical assistance that are needed.
G.U.R.L. TALK(God's Unconditional and Remdeeming Love)
Under God's direction and through prayer, "G.U.R.L. Talk" was originated in February, 2009. A need was observed and LOVE is providing a way to meet the need(s). We believe that our young ladies possess great potentials and through "G.U.R.L. Talk" they will understand and realize that life has much to offer if they would just reach for the sky - for the sky is the limit for any desire.
"G.U.R.L. Talk" is specifically geared to assist young ladies and to help them achieve SUCCESS - despite any challenges. We believe that the key to success is having self-esteem, confidence, a healthy lifestyle, and positive role models.
Our ultimate goal is to ensure that each young lady realizes her full potential in life. To that end, we envision various workshops which will focus on such topics as "Peer Pressure", "Abstinence", "Nutrition and Health", "Personal Hygiene", and "College and Career Options". At the completion of the program each young lady will realize that she has limitless opportunities and is able to do all things through Christ which strengthens" her. (Phillippians 4:13)
OTHER PROGRAMS WE OFFER:
Other programs we offer not listed are as follows:
Kid's Cafe - After School/Saturday School
Gifts for Grooming Program
Agape Day Camp
Agape Overnight Camp
Drug Ministry/Long-Term Treatment
To find out more about our other services, please contact our office.