FOCAS: Transforming Lives

24 Jul 2012, Posted by admin in Packages,Stories,Two Bank, No Comments. Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

FOCAS: Transforming Lives

Story, photo and slideshow by Keith Bowers

For many years, those struggling in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine community have turned to FOCAS for help and hope.

FOCAS — the Foundation of Compassionate American Samaritans — has been a bedrock of support for the impoverished in the area. In 1993, it opened The Lord’s Gym at 12th and Race streets, a place where men can lift weights and their spirits. Next door is The Lord’s Pantry, where the hungry can get a light meal and the opportunity to “tell their story.” Both ministries promote Christian fellowship and growth.

Dick Taylor founded FOCAS in 1986 with his late wife, Anne, because they wanted to help children in rural Haiti with their educational, nutritional and healthcare needs — assistance the ministry still provides. Later, FOCAS began serving the needs of the poor in Cincinnati.

FOCAS also operates the Nicholas Hoyer Sportsclub for youth in Over-the-Rhine.

In its vision statement, FOCAS vows “to see transformed lives reproducing changed lives…” And so it has. The FOCAS website says that The Lord’s Gym has helped many men overcome their addiction problems, while The Lord’s Pantry has helped numerous women escape the street life of prostitution and homelessness.

A version of this story was published by Soapbox Cincinnati.

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