An open house and dedication service at Joseph's Coat Ministry will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, in the ministry's new location at 240 Outerbelt Drive.

An open house and dedication service at Joseph’s Coat Ministry will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, in the ministry’s new location at 240 Outerbelt Drive.

The event is intended to celebrate the new location but also to have people come and find out ways they can volunteer or donate to the ministry, Messiah Lutheran church pastor Karl Hanf said.

At 3:30 p.m., a half-hour joint worship service will be led by Monsignor David Funk of St. Pius X Church, Hanf and a representative from Parkview Presbyterian Church.

Joseph’s Coat is a nonprofit organization that provides free clothing and furniture to the homeless and needy. It has changed locations and expanded its hours.

Hanf, who has been pastor at Messiah Lutheran church for almost nine years, said since the ministry began, the client base has grown as has the number of volunteers.

“The ministry has grown huge,” he said. “We started it 12 years ago in our garage and since then, it has become a partnership with St. Pius and Parkview Presbyterian.

“We have 100 volunteers that help each month now and maybe serve 200 people a month É we started out with about five people,” he said.

Hanf said besides delivering furniture all over the Columbus area, people come to Joseph’s Coat from all over the city as well.

“You’d be surprised the distance that people come to Joseph’s Coat across the entire city. We deliver furniture on the West Side and the North Side of Columbus,” Hanf said.

“The city is just hurting. There is just a lot of poverty. You read the statistics; I last heard, and in Reynoldsburg now, our community, 50 percent of our students are on free or reduced-price lunch.

“I mean, the statistics that came out last week, 40 percent of Americans are in poverty,” he said.

Hanf said the new Joseph’s Coat facility is a lot nicer than any other the ministry has had in the past; it’s more spacious and also has a dressing room.

“Our goal is to give people respect when they come and this new space allows them have to have the look of a store, even though they don’t pay any money for any of the clothes they receive,” Hanf said.

Hanf said partnership plans are also in the works with the Reynoldsburg Ministerial Association, which is starting a new food pantry called HEART that will open inside the Joseph’s Coat new location on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

He said Joseph’s Coat has offered the space free for one year so the food pantry can get up a running.

In addition, he said the new food pantry is also in the process of qualifying to become a part of the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

“For the time being, it will be pretty small because every person we serve we have to be able to serve monthly from that point forward, we have to give them three days of food monthly,” Hanf said.

Joseph’s Coat is open between 6 and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday and Saturday.

Hanf said the food pantry will be open only in the afternoons on the days Joseph’s Coat is open, and clients can only qualify to use it by being referred to it by local churches or social agencies.

Those who have questions about the HEART food pantry or want to donate can call (614) 638-3400.

Those interested in knowing more about Joseph’s Coat can call (614) 863-1371.

dowen@thisweeknews.com

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