The Open ARM is an extension of Area Relief Ministries’ Room in the Inn emergency winter shelter program, and serves as a day center for Jackson’s homeless community. The center opened to the public on February 2, 2009.
“This had been a long time coming,” says Lisa Peoples, ARM Executive Director. “We started planning for a day program soon after we started Room in the Inn three years ago, with church volunteers pushing to do more. We owe a debt of gratitude to quite a few people for helping to make it happen, including the City of Jackson and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.”
Open ARM is a place of hospitality for those who find no rest on the streets. In the mornings, participants can come in to enjoy a warm cup of coffee and then catch up on the news. Restrooms and bathing facilities are available for maintaining personal hygiene, and laundry is done twice per week. Lockers are available for personal storage so that valuables can be locked away in a safe location. Other basic hospitality offerings include a microwave, an iron/ironing board, cool water, computers, and games. There are also chapel services twice per week.
In the afternoons, Open ARM is no longer just a day center, but a space for life skills classes, case management, and job training. Current offerings include AA meetings, GED tutoring, computer training, resume writing, job application assistance, bible study, films for thought, and ongoing case management.
Open ARM staff meet with and interview all clients in order to develop a personalized case plan to get them off the streets and to become self-sufficient.
There are various ministry and volunteer opportunities at the center. For a list of some of those needs click here (Volunteer) or contact Fred McKinnie at 731-868-1724.