There is a place in Orange City that supports women and children impacted by homelessness, domestic violence and more, empowering them to live a life of independence and freedom. That place is called Genesis House.
Genesis House started in January of 2018, and although it is completely different from the Bridge, it occupies the same space and provides for some of the same women and children.
Genesis House officially opened just months ago and was established to continue serving the women and children in Northwest Iowa in need of housing.
Executive Director Becky Erdmann has been with Genesis House from the start and has already seen it impact people.
“When I think about Genesis House, I think about empowering to independence,” Erdmann said. “We have learned that it is one thing to provide a roof, but it is another thing to provide mental health counseling, sobriety counseling, Bible study, etc. When they [the women living in the House] get to a place where they can think more clearly and be more stable, that’s when the real change starts. I didn’t know that there was a job I could love so much.”
Erdmann works alongside a couple other staff members, one of them being Direct Care Coordinator Angie Sas.
“I give my time at Genesis House because I am inspired by the strength and resiliency of the women that live there,” Sas said. “Being at Genesis House has challenged me and provided me with new insight with social injustices and issues that the women have been faced with.”
However, the staff at the house cannot do it alone. Genesis House also relies on the work of volunteers, who help with a variety of things from driving the women places to babysitting the children that live there.
Kim Van Es regularly volunteers at Genesis House and says she has loved her time there.
“I believe in the ministry of the Genesis House,” Van Es said. “[The staff there] live out the biblical call to help those in need. The Genesis House gives women the skills they need to live fulfilling, independent lives.”
There are also quite a few NW students that serve at Genesis House, and one of them is senior Hannah Lindsey.
“I have helped at Genesis House by providing childcare for some of the moms,” Lindsey said. “While I initially volunteered because I needed hours as a social work major, my motivation changed over time. I began to feel called to serve people, even in something as small as childcare for an hour or two,” she said. “If I can give up a small portion of my time, especially time that I would be spending doing something unproductive anyway, then I should. This is such an important ministry.”
Genesis House is always in need of resources like volunteers for driving and child care, but also tangible things like paper products, cleaning supplies, furniture,Wal-Mart cards and more.
“Every little bit helps,” Erdmann said.
If anyone would like to get involved, they can check out the website, genesishouseiowa.org, for answers to frequently asked questions, as well as contact information for the staff at the house.