A simple concept, with complex impacts. “The Lighthouse” was an actual residence for young men that I started and headed-up for three years, while doing collegiate ministry.
It was formed as one of the many branches of the men’s ministry I was running, and was the highest level of commitment, time, energy and growth that a guy could commit to as far as what we offered.
I chose a strategic location that shared a wall with the most popular bar in town and about 10 steps from the edge of the college campus. We then rallied 8 guys/year to live in a 5 bedroom house (yep, lots of sharing), year round, with all furniture and furnishings supplied (mostly through thrifting and donations). We then supported these young men as they impacted each other and the neighborhood and community around them.
Besides being a great stretching and growing time for the guys living life-on-life in the house, The Lighthouse also provided a bit of a “resort” for people between classes and on the weekends as the house had an “open door” policy at all times.
It also generated revenue for the ministry and non-profit I worked through. I worked out a win/win deal with the property owners who agreed to sublease it to us so that they would gain more revenue than usual. Plus, they loved us because we took way better care of their property than previous tenants anyway! Even with eight men per year, over the course of three years we did less damage than the normal five in a year used to do!
We then rolled all the bills into one for the men residing in the house, and whatever was left over was profit for the ministry.
Because the house had eight guys splitting the costs, it kept the costs low per guy (cheaper than anywhere else in town), though the overall expense of the house was fairly high. Win/win/win for everyone!
Eventually I moved cities, and the house took too much oversight to keep it thriving and on track. Nobody had taken my place on staff, and so without constant coaching and guidance, as well as recruitment for future guys, I had to shut it down.
If you want more details on this, just shoot me a message and I’d be happy to talk about it!
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