Men’s Challenge celebrates 2nd year of success stories
It currently has two meeting locations, and holds meetings, open to all men, three times a week. The Alliance location is moving from the Alliance Neighborhood Center to Christ United Methodist Church, at 470 E. Broadway St., with Feb. 8 as the target date for completion. Meetings are held there at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and 10:30 a.m. Thursdays. The Canton sessions are held at 10 a.m. Wednesdays in a meeting room across from the Palace Theatre, in a space below an architectural firm’s office, and Men’s Challenge also has an office in town there, about a block and a half away.
In addition, the farm is still operating smoothly in Hartville, where the MC Workshops are located. And MC Employment, a temporary staffing agency, was formed this past year by the pastors and volunteers who run Men’s Challenge to ensure the men who go through the program have an even better chance of getting work.
“If someone is interested in trying one of our guys out, we’ll let them hire them through the agency on a short-term basis. And then, if they want, they can hire them permanently,” said Dykshoorn.
The services provided at Men’s Challenge come along with mentors to help men learn to stay on the right path, and they include: bus passes, vocational rehabilitation, drug and alcohol recovery program, clothing, job search assistance, a cellphone program, a residential work program, child support assistance, and even a 30-day program that will provide a ride to and from work and current job experience, plus help getting a permanent job. Drug testing is required for certain programs and is administered through Quest Recovery. Other agencies Men’s Challenge partners with include the Alliance and Stark County court systems, SARTA, PathStone, Right Path for Fathers Partnership, BMV Reinstatement Installment Plan, Stark County Homeless Hotline, and others. Men’s Challenge also works with Mature Services to help men who are middle-aged gain new job skills. And it works with Alliance Career Centre and Stark State College to help people who would like to improve their job skills and pay rates.
Dykshoorn, and all associated with Men’s Challenge, happily boast that 82 percent of the men who graduate from their eight-week program have found jobs. And even those men who only attended one meeting are finding success, with 48 to 52 percent of those finding work. If the men attend two or more sessions, the success rate rises between 69 and 72 percent.
“We have found with our homeless men that drugs and alcohol is the biggest issue,” said James Gray, who is in charge of operating the Canton location. “That’s why we are partnering with Quest. We don’t just put a Band-Aid on the issues our men have. If we did that, they would just walk off the job again eventually anyway because the problems would continue to affect them.”
Contact Men’s Challenge at 330-821-6367, or visit menschallenge.org, for more information.
Original article found here.