Congratulations to Noble House Ministries, celebrating 25 years of providing shelter and life-changing guidance for people in desperate situations.

The public is invited to a thanksgiving celebration Sunday, April 28, from 2-4 p.m. at Noble House, 205 E. Highland, Albion.

The mission of Noble House Ministries is "to provide a safe and nurturing environment for individuals and families overcoming difficulties ... on a journey of rebuilding, learning and emerging."

The dedication and prayers of countless people have helped scores of women, children and men overcome homelessness and hopelessness.

Noble House was conceived as a way to meet the needs of a steady stream of women and children seeking assistance from the Township Trustee Office operated at the home of Don and Brenda Ginder.

Brenda Ginder rallied her church friends and others and in May of 1993 Noble House was founded. After months of fundraising and physical labor, a small factory was transformed into Noble House. The doors opened in December 1993. About a year later the Central Noble Food Pantry opened in the rear of the shelter and Val Hague became a pantry volunteer.

Hague became the director of Noble House when Brenda Ginder left the position to attend seminary.

"Honestly, being a livestock feed sales rep, I had no idea what I was doing," Hague recalled during her speech at the Noble House auction last November. "But Noble House was blessed with a great board of directors who not only had a vision, but helped guide me as the nonprofit began to grow."

Poverty, domestic violence, loss of employment, addictions and physical and mental health issues are the main reasons people seek shelter.

"In 1996 we were blessed when PRIDE, a drug prevention program for youth, began a mentoring program with Noble House children," Hague said in her speech.

Other highlights include:

• In 1997 Lucy Weeks set up a $100,000 endowment fund for Noble House at the Noble County Community Foundation. This fund was matched by the Dekko and Lilly foundations.

• In 1999 Noble House formed a partnership with the Albion Presbyterian Church to use the parsonage for a transition house for women and children. Organized by Nancy Shambaugh, churches, organizations and Noble House staff “adopted” rooms in the house. They donated money, repaired plumbing and electrical, painted, cleaned, carpeted and furnished rooms, making the house into a comfortable home. The transition facility, named Our House, closed in late 2018 due to the Albion Presbyterian Church deciding to sell its parsonage. The staff and volunteers of Noble House Ministries were honored to be entrusted with that building for nearly 20 years and are looking for another facility in Noble County to house a transitional living residence.

• In 2000 while working with the prosecutor's office and law enforcement, a domestic violence program was established. In 2001, thanks to the hard work of staff person, Wendy Gensch, Noble House became an accredited member of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

• Among other new programs were one-on-one counseling for adults, art therapy, addictions counseling, Bible study, budgeting and other educational opportunities.

• In 2003, because of the support of this community, Noble House was able to burn its mortgage.

• In December 2004 Dale Delony of Orizon Realty helped Noble House use the HUD $1 home sales program to purchase for $1 a home that was foreclosed on by HUD. The home could be resold to a first-time, low-income home owner. With the help of the Noble County commissioners, the project moved forward. The commissioners met, agreed to everything and and "once again, prayers were answered," Hague recalled. Volunteers , board members and staff donated time, supplies and money and within a few months, a new roof was put on the house and garage, the well was repaired, the inside was renovated and the house went on the market. About $5,000 was spent; it sold for $50,000, providing seed money for a men's shelter. Pilot House opened in 2007.

Hague retired from Noble House in June 2009.

Noble House's executive director is Jackie Bushong; Michelle Smith is house manager.

Board members are Felicia Patrick, Cara Babyak-Sisson, Daniel Patrick, Bernie Lawson, Danyel Wagner and Megan Hockley, president. Justin Stump will be joining soon.

"God has sustained Noble House Ministries," Hague said. "It belongs to Him and I believe there are many good things yet to come as long as we are good stewards of our resources, plan well, and have faith."

We thank the staff, volunteers and supporters and we wish Noble House Ministries ongoing success during the next quarter century and beyond.

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