Interfaith Housing Services celebrates 25 years of service

Oct 31, 2016

Interfaith Housing Services celebration

A group of around 250 people helped celebrate Interfaith Housing Services’ 25 years of service to not only individuals, but entire communities across Kansas.

While it was a celebration of the nonprofit organization and those it’s influenced, speakers made sure to recognize the people who made it possible: the donors, volunteers, staff, and current and founding board members.

Without them, and a mission guided through standing strong to Christian principles, it was noted that the organization wouldn’t have made such a long-term impact on the lives of others.

Former Interfaith Housing Services President John Scott was the keynote speaker and said he’d been overwhelmed with recent proclamations and awards in his name, and countless cards and phone calls thanking him for his service.

“It’s overwhelming,” he said, his voice wavering. “It’s very humbling for me. After 25 years all of this is happening, and 25 years ago all I wanted was just a job, but God had other plans. Instead of a job, He gave me a mission.”

Scott said he felt he shouldn’t be recognized for all that Interfaith has done.

“I’ve just been lucky,” he said. “I’ve been in a place where people have come together for a common vision, for a common cause, and done great things together.”

While many things were shared about the organization’s past, Mike Smith, board chair and co-interim CEO, closed the gathering with a few words about the future.

“Thank you again for remembering us and our work in the community,” he said to the crowd. “Together we will continue to make a difference by improving all of our lives by improving the lives of the people we serve.”

In looking towards it future, Smith announced the expansion of what they call Santa Fe Two in Dodge City, which will continue low-income housing in Ford County.

He said Interfaith will also continue to collaborate with the city of Hutchinson, Hutchinson Community Foundation and United Way of Reno County to improve and refurbish the SW Bricktown neighborhood.

He also announced that Interfaith recently accepted a donation of the former St. Elizabeth Hospital.

While the details aren’t yet finalized, Smith noted that in the long run, people in the room may have the opportunity to live in the room they were born.

Scott said in 1991 no one could have imagined what IHS would become in 25 years, or the kind of impact it would have on not only this community, but the state as a whole.

For that, he said he was grateful.

“May God richly bless IHS and each one of you,” he said in closing.