Renew Consignment & Thrift is a new concept in ministry, but our roots can be traced back for decades. In 1984 seven area churches came together looking for a way to alleviate homelessness. They opened Inner City Mission, a homeless shelter, in Springfield, Illinois. One of the churches involved in that project was the Lincoln Christian Church.
Inner City Mission has been a blessed operation for over thirty years. Thousands of homeless children, their parents, and single women have been housed, fed, instructed and encouraged by the body of Christ, working through a committed, experienced team.
Countless hours working and fellowshipping with the homeless led to an understanding of poverty and homelessness that goes beyond economics to the heart of the individual. What is most lacking in the lives of those who struggle chronically is a basic understanding of healthy relationships—how to build them and how to sustain them. This is largely due to the breakdown of “home” in our country.
Out of that basic understanding, Stability for Life was developed—a teaching program coupled with thoughtful benevolence that has proven effective in ending the cycle of homelessness.
Once a solid program was in place, and with the backing of enthusiastic donors, Inner City Mission began looking for a way to reach more people than those who could be housed in a single building. Noting the abundance of physical donations delivered to the shelter (beyond the needs of residents), the idea of a store/ministry center came about.
While ICM in Springfield continues to focus on working with the homeless of central Illinois, ReNew Consignment & Thrift is an experiment in preventing homelessness by assisting individuals and families living in or near poverty. The venue is different, but the tools are the same ICM has used for years: The love of Christ, the generosity of the body of Christ, and the relationship-based approach of the Stability for Life program.
FINANCIAL INS AND OUTS
ReNew Consignment & Thrift is a ministry of Inner City Mission. It is not a fundraiser for Inner City Mission. We want to make it clear that ReNew Consignment & Thrift is an enterprise serving Lincoln, Logan County, and neighboring communities.
Many churches and individuals in this area have blessed ICM with support over the years. ReNew Consignment & Thrift can be seen as fruit derived from that support. It is our fervent prayer that low-income residents in this area will be blessed.
It is difficult to predict outcomes for a new ministry, but ICM pledges that ReNew Ministries (opening inside the store in January 2016) will distributing a minimum of $30,000 in free merchandise & financial assistance to residents in its service area during 2016.
It is the policy of Inner City Mission not to accept federal or state financing. That is true at ReNew, also. We appreciate the role of government, but believe it is the Body of Christ that is best equipped to come alongside people in need of relational resources and guide them toward stability.