Shelbyville's organization for the homeless has reorganized.
The CROSS Project -- Community Religious Outreach Social Services -- has grown from the temporary shelter which first opened in December 2008 and now plans a new residential facility, growth of its food distribution ministry, and a new services division.
The non-profit ministry covers five counties including Bedford, Lincoln, Moore, Coffee and Marshall.
"We're about to launch the level two group home, designated to house six to eight people," said Dr. Carl Bailey, founder and director of the CROSS Project. The transitional facility will provide residents with room and board, as well as limited transportation. Residents will pay a small weekly fee.
"We provide a safe place to sleep, food to eat and assistance with the rebuilding of their lives," said Bailey.
According to Bailey, August has been a great month at the shelter, with three of the residents gaining jobs. He hopes they will join the hundreds of residents who have moved through the shelter and rebuilt their lives.
"We have served over 500 people since opening in December 2008," said Bailey, who reports that 70 percent of residents go on to successfully re-establish their lives.
CROSS has formalized the existence of its growing food ministry -- providing food and supplies to needy families throughout the area, not just to homeless residents. Local churches participate as collection partners.
The third element in the reorganized program is services and fund raising.
"This arm is designed to generate work for residents and provide low-cost services to the community," said Bailey. The ministry will provide basic services that don't require a license, such as lawn mowing and simple handyman jobs. Bonded services such as housecleaning and elder care are also planned.
Bailey is actively seeking an associate director for the newest division. All positions within the organization are filled by unpaid volunteers with a passion for returning the homeless back to stability.
CROSS is funded by private donations, churches and local businesses. This year both the City of Shelbyville and Bedford County earmarked funding for the ministry.
Donations of any kind may be made at the shelter at 116 Hickory Drive. To coordinate delivery, contact resident manager Dixie Sullivan at 735-6294.
Visit crossshelterproject.org or call Dr. Carl Bailey at (931) 575-9954.