First Step Back Home, Inc.

Through the transformative power of God's Love through the Gospel of Jesus, we offer solutions for poverty and injustice to the homeless and working poor. Matthew 22: 37-39

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Address: 18 Auvergne Drive
Lake St Louis, MO 63367
Phone Number: 314-799-3694
FSBH Vision Statements:

1. To increase awareness of the local needs of the poor and needy within our community.
2. To promote unity in the community by encouraging people to get involved in the lives of the poor and needy in practical ways.
3. To reduce suffering and misery of the poor by showing the Love of God in sacrifice and risk from something of ourselves.

Seeking support for the daily motel expense to lodge homeless in St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren Counties. Our ministry primarily serves single, homeless men, and fills many gaps in service to help homeless men, women and children get off the streets and get into a safe "shelter." Program is designed to benefit the homeless and the communities and public agencies, such as hospitals, police and social service groups who encounter the homeless and have no provisions for their care. Our current lodging site is Economy Inn in Wentzville, which charges us $45-$55 per night depending on the size of the family (up to 6 people in a room). In 2018 237 individuals or family units were lodged there for 1121 nights for a total cost of $48,220. In 2017 276 individuals and family units were lodged there 891 nights for a total cost of $39,000; In 2016. 375 people were served in a variety of ways, with 854 nights of lodging and other provisions such as fuel, food, clothing, medicine, and car repair. We continue to receive 20-40 calls per day as many in the community know of our reputation for helping, since we've been organized 14 years. To be lodged, the homeless must agree to submit 15 applications for employment each day for a night's lodging. Job search forms are reviewed by the caseworkers and random job search sites are called to verify if a client did submit an application.
In 2016 the ministry expanded to acquire mobile homes in O'Fallon, MO where 62 previously homeless people have been served with in more permanent housing. For those families, life has improved by having better work situations, stability with a permanent address and living quarters. We currently own eight mobile homes in two separate mobile home parks in O'Fallon.

Since there is no permanent funding for emergency lodging, we only agree to lodge people when cash is available from donations of individuals, corporations, churches and community groups. Same with the mobile home aspect of the ministry. As funds or donations of units happen, we are able transition people who meet criteria for success into these settings.

Georgia's Story
Impossible for Us, Possible with God
By Lana Kruse

"My kids and I are staying in a camper with no water or electric. We're cold, thirsty and hungry. Please get us out of this terrible situation."

That was the call Paul got one cold day in early January. 4 kids... No car... No money. No job. Georgia was a young mom who had been living under the control of the father of her two youngest sons, but who really didn't provide for any of them in a way that was humane.

"This is impossible" is what Paul and I were saying. How can we solve such a huge problem this family was encountering! However, Paul didn't hesitate in telling her he'd help. "If you can get to Wentzville, we'll put you in the motel for a few days," he told her. Somehow she did get there. It was late one Sunday evening when they all arrived.

The next morning, Paul took Georgia to a local nursing home, where she was hired on the spot. He got her a phone and took her to the food pantry so she could stock up on supplies to help get them through on days when meals might not be served at the motel. He gave her one of the donated bikes we had been given, and he gave her a resource list and told her to start calling places for help. One church came through and agreed to cover the cost of a week of lodging.

We got her kids enrolled in the local schools, got them clothes, and school supplies. She checked out Head Start for her little guy, and while there are no openings now, she is receiving some home services from them. She got started on her job, only to have it end soon after, due to her difficulty to get to work on time early each day, before kids were off to school.

We reached out to ministry partners, and several churches have come through with help for lodging expenses for the past six weeks. She got started diligently looking for other work at the end of January. She was hired by a fast food franchise and started her full-time job on Valentine's Day.

We've been searching for permanent housing, and through other community resources, she now may be able to move into a small house in town where she can actually walk to work and her kids can still attend the same school. What has seemed to be "impossible" to us, is being worked out as 'possible" indeed to Almighty God.

Paul talked w/ her about Jesus, and His tender loving care for her. She had been hardened by Christianity after the untimely death a few years ago of her little girl who was 2 1/2 at the time, succumbing to complications from chickenpox. Paul got her connected to a Christian outreach ministry, and before too long she made a new commitment to Jesus and is praising Him for all she is seeing in her situation. She and her kids are amazed at all the love they are finding from God's people and that is what has softened her heart to the Gospel.

Every time we see her she says how she wants to be in a position to "pay it forward." One thing she plans to do is get on the meals schedule and serve out a meal each month at the motel to others in this homeless situation.

Georgia's story isn't over. Who knows when it will be. Permanent housing is her primary need and then a reliable car for transportation. For now, step by step, one day at a time, God is continuing to show us all that NOTHING is impossible with Him. Our ministry is called FIRST Step Back Home... Sometimes we can get folks a little further along than just the FIRST step. In this case, we've seen SECOND and THIRD steps along the way.
UPDATE: As of the end of March, 2018, Georgia has now acquired reliable transportation with a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder, which our ministry paid for, and she will get on a repayment plan soon. Also, the ministry has purchased a 3 bedroom mobile home that still needs to be moved to the location where our other ones are, and then, hopefully, Georgia and her children can move in there!

Note from client (new widow w/ 5 kids):

I want to thank you for your continuous love, caring, compassion, kindness and generosity. You gave us food and a place to stay before the funeral, household items, furniture, back-packs full of school supplies, school books, a working washer, referral for beds, a white board, computer, garden tools, understanding, comfort and Christmas. On top of that, you helped us with rent. I just don't think that "thank you" begins to crack the surface. We will be forever touched , forever grateful for your kindness.

Life in the FSBH Mobile Home Setting
"Love Makes a House a Home"
By Nancy Jessee

For the past 3+ years my daughter and her family have been moving around, living with relatives, seeking to have a home. My daughter has had several problems with her health that have interfered with her several positions as a CNA around the greater St Louis area. During her periods of unemployment due to recuperation, housing became a serious problem. Her husband, because of some bad choices as a very young man, has had a lot of trouble finding employment, even though he has a lot of skills -- carpentry, painting, plumbing, even cooking -- and is a very hard worker when employed. The frequent rejections have greatly discouraged him.

I am a senior who lives on my Social Security and was securely set in a senior apartment building with my rent based on my income; I was praising the Lord for the security with which He had blessed me. But, the insecurity of my family, especially the two little girls who are my only grandchildren, was a constant pain in my heart. On three different occasions they were left with nowhere else to go but to move in with me in my little one-bedroom apartment; this did not set well with the management and was certainly a challenge for all of us. Each time it lasted a number of months and the management finally would insist they move out.

The last time this happened I was also asked to move out. I was praying all the time that God would find a home for them and now I began praying for another situation for myself. The Lord had other plans.

He began bringing godly people into my life that had other arrangements at their disposal. I honestly never thought about us all living together. But a series of phone calls put me in touch with Paul Kruse and First Step Back Home. In our conversation we discovered that I had known Lana, his wife, a number of years ago through our work for another ministry, Child Evangelism Fellowship. It was a joy to get back in touch and, when my daughter and I came to see the lovely mobile home Paul had told me about, I could see immediately that God was moving our family in the direction of living together to make a home for our dear girls. What joy!

We have now been living here -- first my daughter and me and then the rest of the family moved in after the school year was completed for the older granddaughter. We have had a lot of adjustments, but we are really enjoying our home. I had my furniture from my apartment but FSBH filled in so much for us. My daughter is working and the girls are making new friends in the park and settled in school here now. They also now get to go to our church with me on Sunday and Wednesday. We are all praising God for all of His wonderful blessings -- and FSBH and the Kruse's for their faithfulness in serving our precious Lord. My older granddaughter has told me "Love makes a house, a home." Amen!