Mission Spotlight: Granny’s House

surrounded by kids

Granny’s House has been a ministry partner of The Crossing for more than 14 years. During those years, countless volunteers, interns and staff members from The Crossing have served the children at Granny’s House. Kristi Vahle, a member of The Crossing, is interning at Granny’s House this year.

Mission of Granny’s House:
Granny’s House is located at 302 and 304 Trinity Place in the Douglass Park public housing development in mid-town Columbia. Granny’s House is open from 3-6 pm, Monday-Friday.

www.grannyshouse.org describes Granny’s House this way:

Granny’s House is a safe, nurturing place where public housing kids can come each day after school (from 3-6 pm) to see values, manners and God’s love in action. We provide loving arms, a safe place to play or do homework and an atmosphere of hope and calm in an all-too-often chaotic world.

We have a vision at Granny’s House to reach the children of Columbia’s inner city before their lives are shaped by destructive behaviors or become entangled in the legal system. We truly believe there is a “window of opportunity” now to make a permanent and very real change in their lives.

We try to provide the things a grandmother might provide: nourishing food, a listening ear, guidance when needed, prayer, time to read a book together or to watch someone do a cartwheel. It’s a comforting place where there is always someone “home” when the kids get home from school. It’s orderly but fun; there are rules but hugs, too.

Granny’s House is not a “drop in” center. A parent must enroll their child in order for them to attend. We love getting to know these children and have great respect for their families. Granny’s House is not an agency or a social service program. We are a Christ-centered outreach to children living in public housing. Our mission is to nurture the children in an intimate relationship with their Heavenly Father.

Granny’s House is a place where children to learn about and experience God’s love and tender mercies. Children of all ethnic and religious backgrounds are welcome. Granny’s House volunteers believe that how they interact with the children and with one another is a powerful testimony and witness of Christ’s love and power to change lives. We often do more “show” than “tell.”

To put it another way, Granny’s House serves to “nurture and inspire” children who live in public housing:

  • by teaching and fleshing out and making the Gospel relevant to them
  • by daily showering them with hearty doses of God’s unconditional love
  • by helping them excel academically
  • by providing homework help and other school project support
  • by providing a safe, positive environment in the midst of their all-too-often chaotic world
  • by facilitating the development of positive role models and mentoring opportunities with Granny’s House volunteers, staff and “Friends of Granny’s House.”

Granny’s House provides various character-building groups and activities to achieve the above goals:

  • The Princess Academy
  • Sons of the King
  • The Science Club
  • AMP (Academic Motivation Program)
  • Kids Across America (Kanakuk) Kamp

Granny’s House also maintains connection with The Crossing in a host of ways that serve the needs of these kids. Granny’s House kids attend The Crossing’s annual Kids Club, Fall Fest, Christmas, and Easter Family Celebrations. Granny’s House also arranges for their participation in Sunday morning worship services and kids classes at The Crossing and a number of other area churches.

Who Granny’s House Reaches:

Granny’s House serves children living in Douglas Park public housing and surrounding low-income neighborhoods in central Columbia. Approximately 80% of the children served are from (mostly African) refugee families. There are also children from:

  • Afghanistan
  • Burma
  • Thailand
  • Iraq
  • Iran
  • Yemen
  • Pakistan
  • and many other lands.

These children and their families struggle with:

  • assimilating into the life and culture of Midwestern America
  • learning to effectively communicate
  • understanding what they see, hear, and experience in the English-speaking churches they attend on Sunday mornings. (Most of the African kids/families attend one of several African churches on Sunday evenings in addition to attending English-speaking local churches on Sunday mornings.)

History of Granny’s House:

Granny’s House is celebrating it’s 15th birthday this May 2016. After 15 years, Granny’s House is still 100% funded by private, non-government sources: individuals, businesses, civic groups, churches, fundraising events etc. Granny’s House is a multi-church effort. It is not sponsored by, supported by or affiliated with any one church in Columbia. It’s volunteers come from many different area Christian churches and campus organizations. These differences in backgrounds so beautifully display the mosaic of God’s heart to the children who frequent Granny’s House.

Granny’s House was founded by “Granny Pam” Ingram after she spent ten or so years reaching out to families in public housing and other low-income neighborhoods in Columbia; Granny’s House was launched after seeing the absence of any positive activities or programs provided for the children. Prior to starting Granny’s House, Granny Pam served with various other CFC church-based outreach programs in a number of low income housing areas in Columbia.

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Pray for Granny’s House:

  • That Granny’s House would continue to be a “Lighthouse” in public housing and the surrounding low-income neighborhoods.
  • That every child who crosses our threshold would be powerfully affected by the power of the Gospel
  • That, at the end of the day, they would come to know, love, and serve the Lord!
  • That the Lord would continue to provide all the resources we need to fulfill His purposes: staff, volunteers, finances etc.

 

Contact: Granny Pam
Email: pam@grannyshouse.org
Phone: (573) 442-LOVE

Sources:
Email interview with “Granny Pam” Ingram
www.grannyshouse.org

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