We Rise

Kevin Mills has been a shelter manager at Open Door Ministries for over 11 years.  Like many of Open Door’s staff, he has a wealth of experience and knowledge to pass along to the men in the shelter.  Kevin has over 30 years of corporate management experience.  He found himself homeless in 2009 after an apartment fire, and like many of our guests, gave back to Open Door by volunteering.  He’s been connected ever since.  Kevin uses his background in finance to help the men with basic life skills—budgeting, credit, and saving money.  He says he’d rather “teach them to fish so that they can eat for a lifetime.”  Kevin works with young men who come from jail or rehab, and asks them three questions: “What have you done, where are you, and where do you want to go?”   He calls himself a tough love guy— “a hug and a kind word go a long way.”  Kevin says he often gives a speech when the guys walk through the door—that Open Door represents a clean slate.  When they tell him they’ve hit rock bottom, Kevin says “Great--you can only go up from here.  Where do you want to start?”  He says with consistent tough love and support, as he earns their trust, they make great strides.  He even gives them his personal cell number.   He recognizes that for many, they just made a bad decision along the way.  They’ve come from the worst possible experiences, straight off the street, and yet they manage to start over.  Kevin says many want to know how they can pay him back, and he tells them “just pay it forward.”    He notes,  “We rise—like the Phoenix out of the ashes—we rise.”