On a regular basis, CLDI evaluates the needs that remain in our community that are within the scope of our mission to make Jesus known as we seek the welfare of our friends and neighbors of the South Side. A few of the needs we have identified are: more housing and relational opportunities for women and men transitioning out of prison, transitional homes, drug/alcohol treatment programs, abusive relationships, and homelessness; places of economic vitality in the South Side; and lastly, space to be leveraged for kingdom work in partnership with other Christ-centered, gospel-driven works. With these stirrings, the vision for Katapheugó (the Greek word for ‘refuge’) was conceived in the spring of 2014. Much has happened since this time as the original vision of transforming an abandoned church building has grown in ways beyond our wildest imagination.
After years of pondering, praying, re-orienting, and vision casting, CLDI was able to purchase the old Labor Temple Hall, located at 24 S. 29th Street, on September 26, 2016! In time, this dilapidated, vacant, asbestos and lead contaminated 14,000SF building will be transformed to offer refuge and hope in the South Side as we:
- Relocate our current CLDI office to house all of our staff in one building (this not being a current reality);
- Increase the capacity of the Hannah House Ministries by repurposing the space which currently serves as our CLDI office (allowing us to create a Hannah House Ministry Complex);
- Provide (12) affordable housing apartments in response to insufficient quality housing options for those we serve (this requiring a 7,000SF addition as we build up); and lastly,
- Restore the Labor Temple’s original use as a neighborhood gathering spot to provide space for receptions, quinceañera’s, meetings, and other community events.
We give thanks to the Lord for moving in His time and for the amazing way in which He has orchestrated this work as we labor to make Jesus and His gospel known in the South Side. Seeking first His kingdom, we press on in hope of His kingdom already among us, as well as the kingdom yet to come. God, speaking through His prophet Isaiah, offered a sober reminder to the people of Israel (and us) of what true devotion to God was to look like. True devotion is a call to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, and strength… such love that prompts us to love not only ourselves, but also those among us, especially among the weak, disenfranchised, and vulnerable.
“What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once…I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places — firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again” (Isaiah 58, the Message).
One day, His kingdom will fully come, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth, and He will take the Church, His Bride, “and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4, NASB). Come Lord, Jesus, come! In the meantime, may we, as His redeemed children, labor with hope and love to restore, rebuild, renovate, and make the community livable again through and by the Redeemer of all things – Jesus Christ.