Almost two decades ago, Pastor Ted Clark of Children of the King Baptist Church began taking in homeless people and helping them get back on their feet. In the years since then they have helped over 4,800 people. Today, his son, Pastor Ted Clark Jr., runs the church but their mission remains the same. In fact, they began a complete renovation of their shelter a month and a half ago to expand and improve their facility.
“We’ve been doing this now for over 18 years and now we’re renovating the whole place to make this into the Taj Mahal of shelters,” Clark said. “We want the environment to be profound to help expand people’s mind sets because your mind determines your reality. We want this to take people to a higher place to become an asset to the whole community.”
Terrell Fuller manages the shelter and he described some of the rules that come with living at the Church of the King.
“It’s important to us that we work on helping people transition out of homelessness,” Fuller said. “You have to go to AN, AA, finance classes — all the things that you need to help you get back on track and into life. We don’t want you to relapse and go right back into homeless status. We also help you get social security, your military disability, or whatever assistance you need. So our goal is to help people — we don’t want them to stay down we want them to get up. You can’t just stay down, you’ve got to get back up.”
While the shelter has already received new beds and new bedding, they are also working on securing resources for a new computer lab to both help children with their school work and help their parents work on finding jobs or attaining their GED.
Fuller says they have many families that stay in the shelter.
“People who come in here as a family stay together,” Fuller said. These families get their own room, and will share a wing of the building with homeless single women. This section of the building is behind a locked door, and homeless men will be staying in another wing of the building. A communal kitchen, living and dining area is between these two wings.
Fuller said he expects the current renovations to be complete in around a month and a half. In the mean time they are currently housing the homeless in a local motel. In addition to any funds anyone would like to contribute to the project, Fuller said they are also always in need of additional items.
“We’re in need of new towels, sheets, soap, women’s hygiene products and computer items for the children and parents,” Fuller said. “We’re also looking for a vehicle to transport adults to and from work and make sure the kids get to and from school. The bus runs but sometimes kids have to be picked up during the middle of the day.
For more information about the Children of the King Homeless Shelter or to find out how to make a donation contact Terrell Fuller at (580) 341-0186 or Pastor Ted Clark Jr. at (580) 277- 2117.