Oliver Gospel Mission has been serving the poor of Columbia since 1888. Over the 127 years, the organization has provided food, shelter, clothing, employment assistance and most recently, addiction recovery services.

The OGM Recovery Program, partially funded by a Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina Community Enrichment Grant, is a faith-based residential program that encourages life transformation for men over the age of 18.

IMG_0137“Our program inspires participants to move and think beyond survival,” Jeremy Laughead, Director of Men’s Transformation Ministries, said.

The program consists of four stages that takes roughly six months. The stages focus on different aspects and are: The pre-program, the Mind phase, the Heart phase and the Career phase.

Throughout the four phases participants will be admitted, partner with community organizations and churches, take part in group and one-on-one counseling sessions, receive education on relapse prevention and have opportunities to find an occupation. These features are just a few of the ways the Oliver Gospel Mission is addressing the homeless needs of Columbia, South Carolina.

According to Oliver Gospel Mission, “We understand that homeless individuals need opportunities to make positive changes in their lives. They need stable shelter with supportive services to assist them in their recovery as well as help and encouragement to take proactive measures to secure employment with a sustainable living income. We are committed to providing homeless men with counseling, education, vocational training, addiction recovery and health services.”

The most recent OGM Recovery Program began in October 2014 and thus far nine men have graduated from the program with a livable-wage job and housing and have transitioned back into society. An additional 40 men obtained employment while participating in the program.

“It’s a shame that more people don’t know about the recovery program,” Laughead said. “It definitely helps our community grow.”