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Overcomers International Fellowship hosts open houses

WILLMAR -- Overcomers International Fellowship, a nonprofit ministry organization which provides housing and services to single, homeless men in need, will hold open houses Friday at its three homes in Willmar.From noon to 4 p.m. May 27 the publi...

WILLMAR - Overcomers International Fellowship, a nonprofit ministry organization which provides housing and services to single, homeless men in need, will hold open houses Friday at its three homes in Willmar.
From noon to 4 p.m.
May 27 the public is welcome to come to the Timothy House at 619 Trott Ave. S.W., the Matthew House at 621 Trott Ave. S.W. and the Foundation House at 312 10th St. S.W. to learn about the programming and services Overcomers International Fellowship offers to its residents.
“We invite people out to visit us. People will be able to speak with some of the men,” said Michael Laidlaw, founder and CEO of Overcomers International Fellowship.
While open houses and fundraising events are things the organization has done in the past, with the current focus on registered sex offenders and potential residency restrictions in Willmar, Laidlaw wanted to give area residents the chance to hear the truth about the homes he runs.
“Come and talk to us, instead of making up stories,” Laidlaw said.
In the 10 years the organization has had homes in Willmar, only twice has a Level 3 sex offender lived in one of them, Laidlaw said.
Level 3 is a Department of Corrections designation for those considered at high risk of reoffending.
The open house is also an opportunity for the organization to find volunteers interested in helping the men in their recovery.
Laidlaw said the group needs volunteer drivers who can drive the men to their appointments and meetings.
Laidlaw said volunteers are also welcome to mentor the men or even cook a meal for them.
Laidlaw said groups and individuals who want to know more about Overcomers International Fellowship can also schedule a private tour of the homes.
“If someone wants a private tour, we’re always open to that,” Laidlaw said.
The main goal of the open house is to share with the public the work being done at the three homes and how the community can take part in helping these men as they work toward recovery and a new chance at life.
“It is a normal thing we do, but we want to be open to the people. We’ve been doing this for 21 years,” Laidlaw said.

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Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


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