OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Jesus House was once one of the few places homeless people could count on for a meal and a bed.
Over the years, the mission transitioned to focus more on mental health. But after seeing a significant increase in the homeless population, the non-profit is revamping its focus.
“We knew that with the growing need in Oklahoma City for people that are suffering from hunger, it’s not just homeless people that are hungry and need some help,” said Jared Fraser, CEO of Jesus House.
For thousands of Oklahomans facing hard times, Jesus House has been a sanctuary.
“We feed the people who live here daily,” said Mickey Smotherman. “I get to meet all kinds of people and all their situations.”
Smotherman is known for his impressive cooking skills. He is one of the lead cooks at Jesus House.
Mickey’s life vision hasn’t always been clear. When his mother died suddenly in April 2013, the grief consumed him, so he found a way to cope.
“My mother passed away, and I couldn’t [deal] with grief, so I started using an illicit drug,” said Smotherman. “I just wanted to do something to better my life.”
Mickey lost everything. He told KFOR Jesus house was the perfect place to start with his transformation.
“I love to hear that because that’s what we strive for,” said Fraser.
Countless Oklahomans have restoration in this haven. It’s a mission the Jesus House is proud of. This newly built two-million-dollar dining hall is there to feed those in need.
“When you leave here, that doesn’t end,” said Fraser. “You’re part of our alumni.”
On a monthly average, 5,000 meals are served here. That’s 50,000 annually.
The dining hall is one form of outreach. The non-profit’s rehab program is another.
“They help you get all aspects of your life back on track, not just one area,” said Mickey. “I’ve seen them help people in many ways, not just me.”