Open Door currently has four areas of Community Ministries:
- Mathews Promise Academy
- Open Door Institute – Culinary Arts
Mathews Promise Academy
This ministry is free to all children and youth ages 5-17, based on income eligibility. The program serves children of parents who earn less than the federal poverty guidelines. Children’s programming includes daily devotionals, arts and crafts, sports and recreation, homework assistance, reading and math tutoring, field trips, and community service activities. The after-school program focuses on reading development and includes a volunteer-led reading program and “JUMP!” a program designed to help children read beyond their current grade level. The program becomes a full-day schedule of activities during the summer (called “Summer Academy”) and all school breaks. “Sharing Christmas” is a program under the umbrella of the Mathews Promise Academy that provides new toys and clothes for children in families who cannot afford them at Christmas. The program also offers the “Youth in Unison” music instruction program. Having begun under the leadership of Brookstone High School Senior, Koyal Ansingkar, the program provides music instrument training three days per week. Tracy Leopard volunteers as the coordinator of the children’s orchestra. As we build a children’s orchestra, the program supports the academic success of the children in our program as research has shown that learning to play a musical instrument increases the brain’s ability to problem solve, think creatively and plan for the future.
Open Door Institute
The Institute includes a 20-week training program of culinary arts and life skills for homeless and impoverished men and women taught in a Christian environment. The program empowers graduates to obtain employment at a living wage. Vital community partnerships for this program’s success include Feeding the Valley Food Bank (providing a commercial kitchen), and local employers. Graduates of the culinary arts training program can earn as much as $6 more per hour than they were at the beginning of the program and serve in restaurants and hotels across the city. Culinary arts graduates have a greater chance of earning living wage employment if they successfully pass the ServSafe class and exam, which is offered at no charge for the students in our program.
The Institute also teaches basic computer classes, life skills, customer service skills, job readiness, resume’ writing, and mock job interviews.