Director of Redemption House Ministries is also asking for commitment from local businesses to support the ministry, with cold weather increasing and the need for shelter

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Cindy Burback is the director of Redemption House Ministries, a women and children's shelter, and she oversees the men's shelter in Crook County and Craig's Compassionate Café.

As the cold weather increases, the need for shelter and food also increases in the community.

The Redemption House Ministry reaches out to the community to those who have need for food and shelter. Their kitchen, Craig's Compassionate Café, is open to the public at 780 East First Street and greets visitors and volunteers every morning.

The café is part of the outreach of Redemption House Ministries, a 501c3, faith-based nonprofit, which is located within the building that is The Church of the Nazarene on East First Street. The mission at Redemption House Ministries is not only to provide a nourishing meal for those who find themselves in a tough situation, but for shelter and a warm bed. It also serves a deeper goal, which is to "uproot the seed of fear inherent in those who experience homelessness, and to re-plant seeds of hope into those who have lost this necessity," as explained eloquently on the Redemption House website.

After being closed for one year, Craig's Compassionate Café had a soft reopening on March 29. The café is open to anyone who needs a meal, and the café is staffed by amazing volunteers like Lynn Ludecker, Gale Clark and Krissy Squires. It is the only warming shelter in Prineville.

Jerra Woods is the case manager for Redemption House Ministries and indicated in a previous interview that the café also provides meals for the patrons and guests at Redemption House.

"I am thrilled to death that we back open again," she said shortly after the café reopened this past year in March, after closure for a remodel. "Craigs Compassionate Café is going to be amazing, because not only does it feed your body, but it feeds our souls. We can encourage each other, and we can lift each other up and become a part of each other so our community can be strong."

Currently, Cindy Burback is the director of not only Redemption House Ministries — a women and children's shelter, but she oversees two other programs, including the men's shelter in Crook County and Craig's Compassionate Café.

Burback indicated that in the past, the shelter was closed during the day in the winter and entirely during the summer.

"I am wanting to keep those shelters open 24/7," Burback stated. "In order to that, I have to be able to hire staff and have staff available. And in order to have staff, I have to have finances. I am wanting commitment from some of our businesses in town."

She added that $25 per month from these businesses collectively would provide the means to keep the shelters open all of the time and pay the staff needed to do so.

In a letter to community businesses, Burback recently stated, "I am reaching out to all the Prineville business owners and churches to ask for support in sustaining the shelters here in town. As we pull together and meet the needs of the homeless here in our community, it can create a positive outcome for everyone."

She went on to explain that she is asking for a monthly commitment of their choice. So far this year, the Redemption House has provided 5,105 nightly stays for the men's shelter, and 1,850 nightly stays for the women and children's shelter. They have housed 26 men, 22 women, and five children who would otherwise have been in the streets. The cost to house one person per night is approximately $15, which includes meals, showers, and laundry facilities. For every $100 they receive, they can help six people off the streets for the night.

With current COVID restrictions, they can house 14 men and 15 women and children. Both shelters are full. Burback emphasized that the letter was to raise awareness of the crucial need that we have in Prineville to provide these services.

The only means of income for the 501c3 is from grants and donations. Fundraising has been difficult during COVID-19, but Burback stated that they have held their own, but also depend on Craig's Compassionate Café for a warning shelter during the cold season. Keeping it open longer hours also requires more staffing.

The Redemption House Ministry reaches out to the community to those who have need for food.

"We share what we have," Burback said in a prior statement. "We do have a couple of homeless families who are couples who don't want to be split apart so they don't come to the shelters to stay, but they come to take showers, do laundry and we give them food. We not only serve those who staying with us, but we reach out into the community and serve those who we can too."

She emphasized that they try to provide the women with the stability, love, empathy, and compassion that is so hard to find in the world.

"Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear and so we are dealing with all of those issues."

She added that the issues associated with homelessness have been compounded by COVID, including more individuals who have lost their jobs and their homes. Burback noted that it is not just Crook County, but all the surrounding counties — which all have waiting lists as well.

Burback commented that they will be serving a Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day for the community. They will be serving a traditional dinner, including turkey, trimmings, and dessert. There will be take-home containers for leftovers. They are taking donations to help with the dinner.

The dinner will be served between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Craig's Compassionate Café. Volunteers are welcome to come and help serve.


Redemption House Ministries

Director: Cindy Burback

Contact phone: 541-362-5642

Address: Church of the Nazarene, 780 East First Street

Send donations to P.O. Box 1762



Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 25, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Craig's Compassionate Café

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