A Note from our interim ceo
August 2018 | Tim Dooley
The young man briefly looks me in the eye and then down at his shoes. He says, “It’s nice to meet you, sir.” I’m caught off guard by the formality. I respond, “It’s my pleasure, James.” I’m at my first “drop” as Interim CEO and our in-house Manager Anthony Dumas is introducing me to one of the many youth who have stopped into Outreach to grab a meal and maybe a shower on a Tuesday morning. Within a minute, James is in tears, telling me how earlier this year Anthony was trying to mentor him, and he got so frustrated that he threw a Bible at Anthony. “But when I came back the next time,” James then said, “he handed me that same Bible and he changed my life. He has been like a father to me.” By this point James has, perhaps unconsciously even, moved within inches of Anthony, whose sizeable frame almost engulfs James in a brotherly hug. Anthony responds to the accolade with, “Come on, man… you know you and I have the same Father.” And in that moment, on day two of my stint at Outreach, I get it. I get why our Founder Eric Howard has been nothing less than a hero to homeless youth and our city for the work that he and the team at Outreach have done for the last quarter century. I get why the community of Indianapolis has so faithfully supported the mission of Outreach. I get why so many of our staff wear t-shirts with the word HOPE written on them. And I get why I’m here.
With the opening of our new facility last year, the ceiling has literally been raised for what impact Outreach can have in the lives of homeless teens and young adults. Our mission to help them achieve stability and life transformation gets fulfilled one interaction, one relationship, one life at a time. And I am blessed in this season to come alongside Eric, the staff, and the Board of Outreach to help pave the way to the expansion of that mission.