BY LAURA MOLINA SYRACUSE, NEW YORK (NCC NEWS) – Driving by the different streets on the south side of the city, you will notice many abandoned houses, an aspect which was seen as a negative factor of the community, until By His Spirit Ministries was founded. Now, these houses might help fight the crime and violence that affects our city each day.
After having a vision of the Holy Spirit, Vicki Hemmer and her husband Mark Hemmer were determined to make a change in their community by transforming vacant houses into community centers for Syracuse kids.
“We have to work together to make a change, a change in the neighborhood so that the young people around us may get the word of the lord and have a more positive outlook on life,” Hemmer said.
The first house the group bought is located at 205 West Newell Street, just a few blocks from Greater Love in Christ Church, where the ministries hold their offices and their after-school programs until the group is able to afford their own office.
This program will be an alternative for inner-city kids who are in danger of heading down the wrong path. By HIS Spirit Ministries’ Safe Youth House can help kids avoid the streets, peer pressure, bullying, joining gangs and consuming or selling drugs.
Hemmer says there will be a house director living in the youth house, in order to protect the house and also in case the youth of the communities need immediate help, regardless of the time or day.
“You never know when a child might come knocking at the door in the middle of the night because they were thrown out or they couldn’t get back in their house and they had nowhere to go,” Hemmer said.
Some of the facilities that kids from ages 9 to 17 will find in the house will be playrooms, study rooms, music rooms, and an activity space where they can learn about god and discuss bible lectures.
“We want this program to be one in which the kids come because they feel like they are being part of something special,” Hemmer said.