Greetings! As a former Chaplain for the U.S. Air Force, I have seen the success Americans have had in helping the homeless overseas and would love to see the same happen in our country as well. My organization, Turner Ministries International, Inc., a 501 c(3) non-profit, is committed to showing God's love to young adults headed for homelessness. As we give his love on the streets of our city, we witness these teenagers who've been "bumped" out of foster homes, group homes, and shelters and are suffering the trappings of the streets, because they have "aged out" of the foster care system.
In Oklahoma, there are over 10,000 children in the system, with more than 500 aging out (turning 18) every year. Compared to other youth in the U.S., those who age out of foster care are less likely to complete high school or receive a GED, more likely to be unemployed and live in poverty, and often have mental health issues. Statistics also show that nearly 40% become homeless and 25% will be sold into sex trafficking or will trade sex for survival. In the words of Frederick Douglas, "It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." We believe we can help these young men and women before they set out to begin their adult lives and help them acquire skills they need to be self-sufficient and successful.
Our desire is to provide a home that doesn't look like a shelter or institution on our 10 acres of land. We'll serve 60 young adults with housing that includes 30 double-occupancy bedrooms, separate dormitory style bathrooms, kitchen with fellowship hall/dining room, and a living area. Recreation and other activities located within the property include basketball & volleyball, a walking/jogging trail, and organic gardening. Through partnerships in our community, these young adults will have access to employment opportunities and evaluation of career interest. Additional services my team is ready to provide are: assistance with daily living and money management skills; educational and community resource assistance; counseling; and Cross-Race mentoring. Just one dollar at a time, from people like you going out of your way to host a charity event will help make a remarkable difference in the lives of these youth people. TOGETHER-we can make this happen!
We are so grateful for the donations we have already received from local vendors in Oklahoma that include doors and windows, lighting fixtures, cabinets, tile/flooring, and paint! However, we're still working to secure funds for the house itself. We made attempts to involve the universal church by contacting over 100 of the largest churches in America. Unfortunately, here are the two reasons we've run across; they only provide help to those who are affiliated with their denomination, and/or they feel like these kids are already "messed-up & unsavable"! This mindset is unacceptable when the bible says in Psalms 68:6; "God puts the lonely in families..." I believe it is only the caring people who have the hope for these children to experience a real family off the streets! I am appealing to you- would you please consider helping us? I'm praying that God would move upon your heart to consider my "mission proposal" to have you host a charity event to help us raise money to establish The Turner House for at-risk youth. Unlike most beautiful children, not all children can get to have a wonderful mother and father even through adoption-please help us be a family to the few we would like to rescue from the streets. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you so much for your time today and I thank you in advance for any help you can provide in making this dream come true to bless teens in getting off the streets and into their very own home!
Rev. Dr. Jan Turner
Co-Founder, Turner Ministries International, Inc.