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Be Prepared: 7 Disaster Hacks

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Michelle Rothfus, Project Coordinator Abōd® Shelters

My daughter attends college in Florida so when the warnings came out for Hurricane Irma, it was difficult as a parent living in the Midwest US not to scream at her to “come home!”. The recent hurricanes, the fires out west and the earthquake in Mexico have affected everyone in SOME way. Whether being a direct victim of, knowing someone who was or hearing about a relative or friends experience during the disaster, it’s difficult to not feel your emotional heart strings being pulled – hard.

There have been several disasters just in the last few years that have caused a lot of damage. See the recent article on ‘The costliest natural disasters in US History.’ As Hurricane Irma was ripping through islands and coming closer to the state of Florida, people had time to prepare or leave depending on their location and situation. In most disasters, people do not. Or even if they do have time to evacuate, they have no where to go.

My daughter learned a few things from friends as far as how to protect herself and her belongings in case her city encountered a storm surge. She stated one friend instructed her to place her favorite pictures and smaller treasured items in the dishwasher and then make sure it was sealed shut. Friends also forwarded me ideas on what to instruct her to do. I couldn’t believe how my mind went blank in the moment so I was thankful for this. So I thought I would share these good, doable ideas that you can do now to be prepared. While these are not guaranteed to work in every situation, emotionally, it is helpful to have a plan just in case. Having a ‘go to’ kit can help with the feeling of being prepared. It’s important to discuss with your family or friends what your plan is in case of an emergency; where to meet, who to call and where the emergency items are that are listed below.

  1. Pack an emergency kit for yourself / family or winter emergency kit, depending on where you live; include a med kit, wet wipes, water, snacks, matches (see #5 below), batteries, flashlight and small radio.
  2. Pack an emergency kit for your pet(s) to last at least 3 days; include a towel, leash, food, water, dish, copy of medical records and small garbage bags. Make certain they have updated ID tags secured to their collar or even better, get them micro-chipped.
  3. Have a 3-ring binder with plastic protectors to contain your important phone numbers, documents and copies of identification.
  4. Stock up on batteries and keep them organized and in an airtight container to protect them from water damage.
  5. Store matches in a mason jar with something to strike the matches with on the inside.
  6. Keep flashlights in strategic areas and let your family know where they are.
  7. Store extra jugs of tap water to flush the toilet and properly deal with human waste if you lose water. (Thanks Connie!)

To help prepare your kiddos for disasters without scaring them be sure to read the blog, ‘Teaching Kids About Disasters.’

Disasters can happen with little to no warning and humans are pretty innovative when it comes to surviving even in the harshest environments. Be prepared by organizing an emergency kit, talking with your family / friends about your plan and being informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur in the area that you live.

In every country all over the world there are housing needs. Many people believe that there are just too many issues or too much is needed to accomplish anything worthwhile.  Abod Shelters have proven what’s possible for individuals in need and that it is worth it to get involved. Be sure to read, ‘Getting Involved… Is It Worth It?


One House. One Family. One Day.

www.abodshelters.com

 If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!

Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd® Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

Be Prepared: 7 Disaster Hacks
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No Really, What If…?

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Michelle Rothfus, Project Coordinator Abōd® Shelters

There are literally millions of crazy, fascinating and hypothetical “What If” scenarios that fill up books that have people intrigued about technology, medicine, business, planets, etc. There are even movies made with the title of “What If”. These different scenarios get you thinking and dreaming about all the endless possibilities.

A couple of days ago, I was asked to think strategically and complete the sentence, “What if…?” I hadn’t had a chance to respond yet and as most people do when they write regularly, stumbled this week for a new and fresh topic for the Abod blog. I immediately went back to this sentence and began thinking about Abōd® Shelters because over the years we’ve dreamed many times on “what if’s” actually coming true! The ‘we’ve’ in the previous sentence refers to everyone who has ever been involved with Abod; the initial designers, board members, volunteers, partners and those that go and help on our builds.

In under 20 minutes I came up with the below list.

What if…

Abōd® Shelters had a constant revolving door for interns? I mean this in the most positive way. They could come in for just a few short weeks and share their novel perspectives, provide ‘outside the box’ ideas and then make them happen. They would receive real life experience in a local community non-profit and gain valuable experience, develop skills and make connections… all while growing their resume! Read more on ‘Reaching Out to Universities for Interns: It’s a Win / Win’.

Kira Mann, Abōd® Shelters summer intern

Every city provided jobs for the homeless? I know there are already programs available and in place for those who qualify. But what about everyone else? ‘Bridging The Gap: The Power of the Street Paper’ shares how college students are volunteering to make a difference in the lives of the homeless in Memphis, TN. What if… every college did this?

Thousands of people bought our shirts with the NEW designs? Every purchase results in a percentage back to the foundation to provide homes for those in need. Now THAT would be helpful. It would also be fun to see thousands of people sporting our shirts with innovative designs!  Go directly to our ‘Shop’ here. Thanks to our summer intern, our shop is now open with NEW designs. Read more about our super hero intern here.

What if…

Abōd® Shelters had manufacturing available in every country all over the world? We already use local materials and a few local laborers on our builds but this would mean stable jobs and a steady stream of business for the locals. It would also reduce shipping, customs and duty costs because they wouldn’t need to be transported across countries or shipped internationally. Abōd® Shelters Foundation can’t succeed alone, which is why we work with Partners to provide a choice, not charity. We’ve shown what’s possible but we have a long way to go. Read ‘Basic Human Rights: Abōd® Shelters Has Shown What’s Possible’ and learn more about what we’ve accomplished working with others.

More organizations encouraged their employees to ‘Give Back’ as part of their work culture? At BSB Design, Inc. employees sign up yearly to build locally with Habitat for Humanity, participate in CANstruction for the local food bank, Airplane Pull for the Special Olympics, provide designs to HomeAid’s “Project Playhouse” and Design and build for Make-A-Wish Foundation. Our employees ‘adopt’ families at Thanksgiving and Christmas to provide food and gifts and many, many more activities. Most recently, our Dallas office participated in a ‘Walk-A-Thon’ to raise money for an Abōd® Shelters Birthing Center in Tanzania. Really, getting involved is worth it.

BSB Design employees participating in the local Greater Des Moines Habitat Build.

BSB Design employees participating in the CANstruction event to support the local food pantry.

BSB Design Dallas Team early morning walkers to raise money for an Abōd® Shelters Birthing Center.

What if…?

There were warehouses full of Abōd® Shelters all over the world? Could you imagine how quickly a response could be to provide homes to people after a disaster? Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 hurricane, that hit Haiti last October is just an example. Every month of every year there are natural disasters, terrorist attacks, accidents that hundreds and thousands of people experience. I’m thankful for the organizations and volunteers that immediately respond to areas after horrific disasters. They come in with medical supplies, food and water. If there were Abod’s ready to be deployed when the next disaster happened, they could provide more than just a temporary, safe solution. Read ‘Abōd® Shelters Picks Up Where the Temporary Solutions Leave Off.’  The flexibility of the layout provides many options to those in need in any circumstance.

Governments were easy to work with? I know… this comes across as a bit sarcastic. There are just too many issues, basically RED TAPE, to deal with. But what if… large pieces of land could be set aside for low cost housing. What if… bribes were not needed, having to know someone in a high up position everyone just had good intentions? What if… Abōd® Shelters Village of the Future came to fruition? What if…the local municipalities provided the needed utilities to have clean, safe, welcoming neighborhoods that families could flourish in?

What if… Abōd® Shelters had your help? Let’s make a difference together.

Global need

  • Today, 1.6 billion people live in inadequate shelter around the world; 1 billion of those live in informal settlements. More than 100 million people worldwide are homeless.
  • About one in four people live in conditions that harm their health, safety, prosperity and opportunities.
  • By 2030, UN-HABITAT estimates an additional 3 billion people, about 40 percent of the world’s population, will need access to housing. This translates into a demand for 96,150 new affordable units every day and 4,000 every hour.
  • By 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population is projected to be living in urban areas, causing slums and unplanned settlements to swell.
  • Estimates of homelessness in the United States vary from 1.6 million to 3 million people. Most studies conclude that about one-third of the homeless are children.

The impact of adequate housing

  • Adequate shelter is a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty.
  • Adequate housing is vitally important to the health of the world’s economies, communities, and populations.
  • Homeownership is a form of wealth accumulation through equity and forced savings from mortgage repayment.
  • Good housing attracts economic investment and development.
  • Decent shelter contributes to thriving school systems, community
  • organizations and civic activism.
  • Safe homes and neighborhoods help to build social stability and security.

Key Facts obtained from http://www.habitat.org/getinv/events/world-habitat-day/housing-facts

Special thanks to Dan Swift, President of BSB Design, Inc. for always encouraging and asking the ‘What if’ question.

If you know of an organization that we could work together with to make an even bigger difference, I’d be very grateful if you’d let us know. Also, please forward this and share it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!


Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd® Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

No Really, What If…?
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New Design Reveal – Part 2

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Kira Mann, Summer Intern Abōd® Shelters

I am so excited about going live THIS WEEK with our new apparel shop (see info at the bottom of this post) and there is still a lot in store for the rest of the year! While I have been updating the apparel website and all of the t-shirt designs, there has also been opportunity for me to create social media graphics to blend the bold look of the new apparel with the bold and graphic looks of our social media posts.

I introduced a cohesive and structured look to many holiday and special occasion posts throughout the year. These posts, in stride with the new shirts, feature the Abod logo and incorporate the logo’s great design into scenes fit for individual holidays. Can you guess which holiday is celebrated in the below graphics?

My time at Abōd® Shelters has been a great learning experience. Starting at a new place always provides an opportunity to work with new people. Special thanks to Lindy, Erin, and Carly with BSB Design, Inc. for all their guidance and critique – they are a huge force behind the re-opening of the apparel shop and the masterminds behind the beautiful branding of Abōd® Shelters. The internship has allowed me to gain more practice with the design computer programs and strengthen my problem solving skills – not every website and program that you’ll use as a designer will be (ironically) designed well… this means many hours behind the screen clicking my mouse too many times to correct issues. Those hours were fueled with coffee and podcasts.

Fun and Expectant Things Discovered While Working Behind the Screen

  1. Podcasts are your friend. I recommended ‘99% Invisible’, ‘Stuff You Should Know Podcast’ and ‘This American Life’
  2. Find a great place to go after work to reward screen-exhausted eyes. I recommend Blu Thai Food and Sushi – ask Danny, the Sushi Artist, for a Chef Special!

I believe that passion fuels hard work. Michelle; the organized, kind and admirable energy behind everything Abod, is what it means to do something you love. She has a full heart that is guiding a helping cause to greatness. She reminds us all in this short life that it is important to love what you do and to use your work to make a difference for someone else. Thank you, Michelle!

In the future, I hope to see Abōd® Shelters grow into this great vision. Community, student, and family involvement in the building trips, donations that open doors, and the spread of awareness is everything to look forward to. Thank you for a great summer, and enjoy your new apparel!

Kira

Thanks to Kira, we’re excited that our shop is now LIVE with our NEW designs! The best part? $5 for every item purchased goes toward building homes for those in need.

Need a gift or an item for someone special? Please consider choosing one that keeps on giving. Shopping for good is more popular than ever and there is no easier way to shop than online. Everyone on your gift list will appreciate knowing that what they received and are going to wear help provide a home to someone in need.  Have fun choosing one or several of our cool designs and combine the good feeling of gift giving and supporting a worthy cause! There’s nothing extra you need to do because a portion of every sale automatically goes directly to Abōd® Shelters Foundation.

Take advantage of FREE shipping through August 20th! Use Code: FSO817


Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd® Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

New Design Reveal – Part 2
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Gearing Up for New Design Reveal – Part 1

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Kira Mann, Summer Intern, Abōd® Shelters

“Anywhere but Iowa State”. This was my response when I was younger about my future college plans. My hometown is Ames, Iowa, which is well known for Iowa State University (ISU). I wanted that feeling of excitement of going somewhere else, stepping outside my comfort zone and exploring something new. Just like everything else, once I made that plan it sure did change.

I decided on Graphic Design during high school and the ISU Design Program trapped me into loving my hometown even more. The challenge of the course load and the high expectations for creativity provided that excitement of ‘something new’ which I looked forward to exploring into the summer of 2017.

I was very lucky that a classmate directed me to Michelle at Abōd® Shelters Foundation, because I was instantly captivated with Abod’s vision and the new challenge of designing for a non-profit.

In high school, I followed my favorite teacher and a group of students to Uganda, Africa. While there for a month we fell in love with the people and the culture. We were put to work building student housing and educational buildings within the local community. Abōd® Shelters offers a solution to many of the obstacles I saw while in Uganda and is one of the reasons why I believe it is so important to raise awareness and visibility to the opportunities that a well-designed building can bring. In Uganda, it took us a full month to construct a single building. We left without seeing the roof attached.

Although solid, these buildings required heavy materials to be carried and wheeled to its proper location. The drying of the bricks, the mixing of the concrete, and the manpower to put it all together required many hands and many days. Abōd® Shelters offers an alternative to all of these issues. The shelters can be manufactured in large quantities, are easy to deliver and it only takes 4 – 5 people to assemble a unit in one day. Abōd® Shelters can create the same student housing and educational buildings in less time and less cost. This high-quality, thoughtfully designed and lasting structure can encourage so much positive change in that culture that is so easy to love.

This is what brought me to Abod and fueled the designs that will hopefully bring more patronage, funds, and interest to something that is so special.

The main focus for my internship with Abōd® Shelters for the summer was introducing new designs and styles to the online store. This is a place that anyone; individuals interested in doing good, volunteers and supporters can buy new gear while supporting the cause. With every item purchased from the store, $5 of the sale will be directly donated to Abōd® Shelters. This gave me a good reason to design something that will be worn!

While keeping with the same messaging from the previous designs, I introduced a bold, clean, and graphic look. I researched what styles students were wearing around campus and looks that other non-profit organizations found successful and then created designs that also tie back to Abod’s mission.

View the picture (right) for a sneak peak of one of my favorite designs.

  • “Realizing a dream of making the world a better place” is a re-occurring phrase used in Abōd® Shelter’s blogging, website, and social media posts. It is a great way to communicate to others the importance of the designed shelters.
  • There is a continued use of the color “Abod Orange” that is complimentarily paired with a bold blue.
  • The interesting typography is overlaid on an imagery of the world, Abod’s values and mission stretches internationally.

This shirt and many more can be bought on our online store starting Tuesday, August 15th. As if our grand re-opening can’t be any more exciting? Next week will also offer FREE SHIPPING. We’ll provide the details soon. While you’re checking out with your full cart, remember that $5 of every purchase is directly donated to Abōd® Shelters, with the addition of free shipping… there is no reason NOT to go check it out!

Stay tuned for Abōd® Shelters online store Grand Re-Opening next Tuesday and choose your NEW favorite design!


Kira Mann, pictured left, is a Junior at Iowa State University Majoring in Graphic Design. She came in to the West Des Moines, IA BSB Design, Inc. office this summer a couple days per week to help with Abod projects that included;

  • revamping online store including updating shirt designs which will be revealed and available starting next week,
  • designing graphics for social media
  • designing pages for online giving

For more information on Kira and her intern responsibilities with Abōd® Shelters be sure to read,  ‘Reaching Out To Universities For Interns: It’s A Win / Win’.

Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd® Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

Gearing Up for New Design Reveal – Part 1
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Calvary Rescue Mission: A Safe Haven for Men Experiencing Homelessness

Cover photo credit to Don Perry, Photographer, Calvary Rescue Mission.

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Previously featured in The Bridge, the below article is a follow up to Elizabeth Dinneny’s original introduction through ‘Bridging the Gap: The Power of the Street Paper’ and the impact the paper is having in Memphis, Tennessee. Thanks to Hannah Hornsey for permission to republish and to Calvary Rescue Mission for the photos!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Hannah Hornsey, Editor-in-Chief, The Bridge

Convention typically dictates that women and children should be given priority over men in crisis situations. Whether this comes from the notion that men are the dominant sex and can therefore better handle any kind of emergency or the idea that women and children must carry on the human race, it’s an idea that is prevalent in our culture. Even in cases such as homeless shelters, women and children are often given precedence over men.

If there is a shortage of food or space, men will usually have to find alternative options. Is this fair? It seems like there must be some merit since it is such a ubiquitous custom, but it seems that it’d be beneficial to instead separate shelters by gender and therefore allow both sexes to have a chance of salvation.

The Calvary Rescue Mission in Memphis encapsulates this approach, but its core values do not center on gender issues. This shelter is a non-profit organization with a focus on religious salvation. Many of the men inhabiting this establishment have come from a background of drugs, broken families, and poor decisions. The Calvary Rescue Mission picks them up and allows them to change their own lives for the better.

Milton Hatcher and his family. Photo courtesy of Calvary Rescue Mission.

The mission welcomed its first patrons on April 1st 1967, thanks to Milton Hatcher. An alcoholic for many years, Milton found salvation in religion on April 7th, 1963.  According to the story, he told his wife that he knew God had something in store for him, but he was not sure what. He locked himself in a building behind his house for two and a half days until he finally came out and said that God was leading him to his own rescue mission.

His original method bringing aid to the homeless was in a hearse that he bought soon after his revelation. People said that this had a sobering effect and led many more to salvation. For those who choose to stay at the mission, they will be able to attend nightly chapel meetings, luncheons, and many more events that will help strengthen their resolve in starting fresh.

A myriad of men who have chosen to stay there have provided testimonials about their splintered past and the saving grace that the mission provided. David tells a tale of absent parents, foster homes and prison. His parents dropped him off at a police station when he was 13 and said that they just didn’t want him anymore. After this, David was shuttled from home to home and began smoking weed which put him in prison for the next 10 years. For years, he was either in jail or a drug addict and alcoholic living unsheltered. It was during this time that he met the woman who would eventually become the mother of his two children, only to take them away in May of 2013. He hit his lowest point and it was then that he was led to Memphis and the Calvary Rescue Mission. He completed the mission’s discipleship program and is currently working at the mission. There are hundreds of men with stories just like David’s that too have been given a second chance by the Calvary Rescue Mission.

So, is this Mission’s abundant success due to the faith-based curriculum, the single gender population, or a combination of both? It seems that by not taking in women or children, the mission might be missing an opportunity to change so many lives.

The population of people without homes in Memphis consists of both men and women, and they are equally in need of care. However, perhaps by taking in a fewer percentage of people, the Calvary Rescue Mission is providing these individuals with their best chance at personal success. The men who stay with the mission can dedicate their time to personal reflection.

The issue of single gender shelters has been a long-debated issue. But either way, the Calvary Rescue mission provides a fantastic service to those in need in the Memphis area. Their dedication to the individual and their spirituality has provided so many with a clean slate and a bright future. This mission has been a success for 48 years, and we hope it will continue to thrive for many more.

Student volunteers. The mission relies strictly from donations. Calvary Rescue Mission is a not for profit charitable organization that accepts no government money. 

These two young women, Hannah Hornsey, Student Writer, pictured on the right, visited Calvary Rescue Mission today to talk to the men about becoming vendors for the paper.


Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd® Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

Calvary Rescue Mission: A Safe Haven for Men Experiencing Homelessness
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Combat LGBT Youth Homelessness This Pride Month

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Thank you to Ken W. Kiser for the cover photo.

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Elizabeth Dinneny, Summer Intern BSB Design, Inc.

LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) individuals experience homelessness at a significantly higher percentage than non-LGBT individuals. They are often rejected by their families, discriminated against, and sometimes even prevented from entering shelters.

The Center for American Progress notes that, while the population of LGBT youth in the U.S. is between 5% and 7%, LGBT youth make up between 9% and 45% of youth experiencing homelessness, depending on the region. And these statistics reflect just those willing to identify themselves as LGBT.

LGBT youth experiencing homelessness typically have worse physical and mental health than non-LGBT youth, experience more violence, and are twice as likely to commit suicide. LGBT youth are also more likely to experience violence and discrimination on the street and in shelters. LGBT youth deserve safe environments that recognize their feelings and identities—we need to do better.

Above graph posted from the True Colors Fund.

So, as we reach the end of this year’s Pride Month, what can we do to help LBGT kids experiencing homelessness in our own communities?

Above graphs posted from the National LGBTQ Task Force.

Know what your community is doing to combat LGBT homelessness. Shelters are too often a dangerous place for LGBT people, especially LGBT people of color, who frequently face homophobia and transphobia from others staying in shelters and even from the shelters themselves. Discouraged and sometimes barred from or kicked out of shelters, LGBT individuals are much more likely to live on the streets than non-LGBT individuals. We need shelters that are accepting of all people experiencing homelessness, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Protect LGBT students. 1 in 5 LGBT students report being harassed in school, and are two times less likely to finish high school than non-LGBT students. Bullying has been shown to be detrimental to mental health, negatively affect performance in the classroom, and discourage school attendance. Teachers, administrators, and parents have a responsibility to be students’ allies, and should respond to bullying quickly and effectively. As conflict at home can be the norm for LGBT youth, school can be a safe place for youth to be themselves. Additionally, school is often a source of food and mental health services for youth experiencing poverty.

Above graph posted from the True Colors Fund.

All students have the right to go to school in a positive atmosphere, and an affirming school environment can be invaluable to LGBT youth experiencing homelessness and poverty.

Develop an environment that is safe for LGBT youth. Shelter is a human right. Without shelter, children’s psychological and emotional development suffer, and they are left more vulnerable to violence, drug and alcohol addiction, mental health problems, and suicide. We cannot improve the lives of LGBT youth experiencing homelessness without facing the fact that, despite being a minority, LGBT youth experience homelessness so unbelievably more than non-LGBT youth. It is our responsibility to LGBT youth to fix this problem. We must make the United States a place that is not complicit in discrimination against children to the point of homelessness. We must make the United States a place that believes children deserve real, affirming shelter.

Above graph posted from the True Colors Fund.

Above graph posted from the True Colors Fund.

Above graph posted from the National LGBTQ Task Force.

Advocate for non-discriminatory housing for LGBT people experiencing homelessness. Even in foster homes, LGBT youth are often treated differently and are sometimes abused by adults and kids in their foster homes. Transgender youth can and are often placed in homes according to a gender with which they do not identify, and are denied clothing and health care that is in line with their gender identities. Denying an LGBT child’s identity puts them at a higher risk of mental health issues, suicide, and running away—more homelessness.

There are no laws protecting LGBT youth from discrimination in foster care, and, like shelters, many foster care systems don’t provide sufficient LGBT education that would help adults be allies to LGBT youth. We need to do better.

Ultimately, we need to cultivate a society in which LGBT children do not feel threatened, and in which the systems that are meant to protect and house the homeless do not achieve the opposite.

We at Abōd Shelters® affirm that shelter is more than a roof over one’s head. A safe home leads to better mental and physical health, better performance in school, privacy, increased likelihood of employment, safety from abuse, and being happier in a room of one’s own. There is a variety of organizations dedicating to ending LGBT youth homelessness, and they have made strides toward that goal. Still, there is work to be done. Whether it’s donating to non-discriminatory shelters, starting this conversation within our own communities, or helping Abōd Shelters® become a part of the solution to LGBT homelessness in the U.S., we all have a responsibility to fight this inequality in our own country.

For more information regarding LGBT youth homelessness and its solutions, you can visit “At the Intersections,” an online resource created by the National LGBTW Task Force and the True Colors Fund. You can also view the resources provided by the National Coalition for the Homeless on their LGBT Homelessness page.

Read more about the history of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) on the Library of Congress site.

Elizabeth Dinneny is a junior at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and the Summer Intern at BSB Design’s D.C. office. She is a section editor and the summer layout editor for The Bridge, a street newspaper in Memphis, TN. We are very grateful for Elizabeth stepping up to support Abōd Shelters® in making a difference and to bring awareness to important topics such as this one through our weekly blog.


Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd® Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

Combat LGBT Youth Homelessness This Pride Month
read more

Reaching Out to Universities for Interns: It’s a Win / Win

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Michelle Rothfus, Project Coordinator Abōd® Shelters

It takes a lot of hard work and effort running a non-profit. For those of you experienced in this sector, you will understand the importance of having an amazing team of committee members and volunteers to support your project. Still, there are many responsibilities and items to be completed that drop to the wayside because there is just not enough time or there is not someone available with that skill set to complete it at a top-notch level it deserves.

One of those items for Abōd® Shelters was updating our online shop. A few years ago, we had a t-shirt design contest that resulted in some really cool designs from students that supported our mission. At the time, we made them available online and when individuals purchased one, $5 from the purchase was automatically donated to Abōd® Shelters Foundation to support a family in need. Having merchandise available supports our overall mission by providing a small funding source and getting the word out about Abōd® Shelters and the impact we can make on an individual, family, community, etc.

A few years have passed and while our designs are still really cool, our online store has become outdated. Yet with the daily ongoing responsibilities, the online store kept getting pushed further down the ‘to do’ list.

Original Winning T-Shirt Designs provided by Deanna Sargent, Brittany Hardin, Julia Rothfus and Shawna Snyder in the 2012 Design Contest for Abōd® Shelters

Reaching out to a local University in this circumstance was the answer. Why? We desperately needed a motivated, full of fresh ideas and skilled person to come in and give our store a face-lift. Did I mention we are a non-profit? We don’t have highly paid consultant fees in our budget.

Utilizing an intern just makes sense. It allows us to take advantage of skilled, yet short-term support. The extra set of hands are able to tackle projects that no one else had time for. It’s not just the extra set of hands that make interns advantageous. Especially in an organization when there is only 1 other employee that handles the philanthropic project. New people bring with them novel perspectives, ‘outside the box’ fresh ideas, and specialized strengths and skill sets.

I am excited to introduce you to…

Kira Mann, a Junior at Iowa State University, Majoring in Graphic Design. She is coming in to our West Des Moines, IA BSB Design, Inc. office this summer a couple days per week to tackle some Abod projects; Projects that I haven’t had a chance to keep up with, and to tell you the truth… I don’t have the skill set for!

Kira focuses her time on;

  • updating our shirt designs and revamping our online store
  • designing graphics for social media
  • designing pages for online giving

You will be able to view her work in the very near future.

Kira Mann, Summer Intern for Abōd Shelters®

Some of Kira’s favorite things; Spending time with her mom, eating sushi, and art museums!

You may have noticed that our store is empty at this time, but if you could see her graphics of what she has come up with so far, you would be as excited as I am!  And don’t worry, our original designs will still be available!

Kira hopes to end up in a city either working for a graphic design firm or running a successful freelance career. Based on what I’ve witnessed so far, Kira is very professional and going to greatly benefit who ever her future client is. She has already inspired us with her ideas, suggestions and insight into changing things up a bit to reach out to our broader audience. Did I mention she is very professional? She’s a great communicator and is a fun addition to our group!


Top Reasons for Reaching Out to Universities for Interns:


Motivated: while their wage requirements are modest, they’re among the most highly motivated members of the workforce.

Free Recruiting: Many, if not all Universities, allows companies to post employer profiles completely free. This means you get extensive exposure to the top colleges and candidates without putting a dent in your recruiting budget.

Give Back: Abōd® Shelters is a giving nonprofit so we rely on others, especially our community, for support. Providing an internship is an excellent way to give back! Hiring college interns not only helps students in our community get started; it enhances the local workforce as a whole.

Win / Win – Internships provide students numerous perks. They gain experience, develop skills, make connections, strengthen their resumes, learn about a field, and assess their interest and abilities. Abōd® Shelters is the beneficiary of their ideas and skills.


In Abōd® Shelters situation, hiring Kira resulted in an absolute win / win. She benefits from the experience of overseeing an entire real-life design project from the beginning stages and presenting her ideas, communicating throughout the project and gaining feedback from our BSB Design, Inc. Marketing Department until the end of posting the designs and finalizing the visual look of the store. Abōd® Shelters benefits because several large, overdue projects will be completed at a top-notch level in a very short amount of time.

We provide shirts to our volunteers who help us on our projects. One of the most popular of the original designs we provided to our volunteers who helped us on our most recent build in Tanzania, where we built ’10 Homes in 10 Days’ with Ty Pennington.

Our family photo showing off my daughter’s winning Abōd shirt design. Yes… a proud parent moment.

Look forward to choosing one or several of our new cool designs on new merchandise and combine the good feeling of gift giving and supporting a worthy cause! Stay tuned for a midsummer reveal!


Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd® Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

Reaching Out to Universities for Interns: It’s a Win / Win
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Bridging The Gap: The Power of the Street Paper

 Cover Photo courtesy of Mark Voitik with The Bridge!

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Meet…  Elizabeth Dinneny, a rising junior at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and the Summer Intern at BSB Design’s D.C. office. She is a section editor and the summer layout editor for The Bridge, a street newspaper in Memphis, TN. We, at Abōd Shelters® Foundation, are excited to have her share how she and other college students are volunteering to make a difference in the lives of the homeless in Memphis, TN. We are very grateful for Elizabeth stepping up to share her experience with our weekly blog effort.

Elizabeth Dinneny, Summer Intern BSB Design, Inc.

When I started working at BSB and heard about Abod Shelters, I was drawn to the scope of its vision—I saw the understanding that having shelter means more than just having a place to sleep. The stability that permanent housing provides is invaluable. It improves learning, employment opportunity, and mental and physical health.

It seems obvious, but too many people live without a place to sleep at night, and too many of us don’t think about the struggles that can result from that insecurity. It’s something I started learning a few years ago when I began volunteering with The Bridge.

Street papers are an invention of the past few decades, and since their genesis they have proven to be invaluable resources to cities all over the world. Each paper has a slightly different model, but the purpose is the same: by producing a newspaper that can be sold by homeless vendors, street papers raise awareness of homelessness and poverty and provide economic opportunity to people who are experiencing those very things.

The Bridge is a 16-page, monthly non-profit street paper that features articles and artwork relating to or produced by people who have experienced or are actively experiencing homelessness and poverty. We sell the paper to trained vendors for 25 cents each, then they sell papers on the street for one dollar and keep 100% of the profit.

Photo credit of The Bridge!

We celebrated the fourth anniversary of the paper in March, and right now we have over 6,000 readers. Vendors have made over $19,000 selling the paper.

Unlike other street papers, like The Contributor in Nashville and Street Sense in D.C., The Bridge is the only street newspaper in the world that is completely run by volunteer college students. We write articles that appear alongside vendor articles, take the photos, design the pages, run weekly distribution, man the delivery hotline, do the accounting, and send the paper to print.

Photo credit of The Bridge!

I started out as part of the distribution team, so every Thursday afternoon some volunteers and I would meet up at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church to interview new vendors, make their badges, sell papers, collect their articles and artwork, and talk with them about their experiences. Most people who haven’t faced poverty don’t know much about it, and meeting vendors opened my eyes to the complexities of being homeless. A lot of people don’t know, for example, that most shelters are not free and not overnight, or that there are fewer beds for men than women. In Memphis, an overnight shelter can cost from $5 to $15 per night—and there’s a general shortage of beds, regardless of one’s gender.

It seems obvious, but too many people live without a place to sleep at night, and too many of us don’t think about the struggles that can result from that insecurity. “

Elizabeth Dinneny

The cost of shelter makes it difficult for the homeless to focus on anything but making enough money to sleep under a roof, so their living is very day-to-day. Street papers can alleviate some of that stress by providing vendors with an opportunity for daily income, which helps pay for vendors’ shelter, food, and transportation. We also give bus passes to vendors who purchase a certain number of papers at Distribution.

With less pressure to find the money for shelter every night, vendors can invest their time and energy into finding a job or stable living place. I’ve seen vendors buy cars, find more permanent places to live, and get stable jobs so that they don’t need The Bridge anymore. That’s the goal. Street papers are not a solution, but a means to the end of homelessness.

Photo credit of The Bridge!

The Bridge doesn’t pause when most of our volunteers are home for the summer—it’s a 365-days-a-year operation that can’t afford to take a break. During the last week of every month, my phone blows up with texts from department heads confirming that, even though we’re scattered across the country, we’ve all done our jobs so that the paper is ready to be printed for Distribution in a few days. We have weekly meetings over the phone to make sure everyone’s on the same page, and no matter where we are, we always produce something that vendors and volunteers are really proud of.

Photo credit of Mark Voitik.

The Bridge is run on passion for combating homelessness in the Memphis community. Our volunteers are full-time college students who still put an enormous amount of energy into the paper every month. Sometimes we are required to stay up late before final papers and exams to copy-edit or design pages, because there are hundreds of vendors relying on the paper’s production. If there’s a sickness going around and we’re low on Distribution volunteers, there’s always someone willing to step in. The Bridge is a priority because housing for all is a priority. It’s a human right. And then, of course, there’s the hundreds of vendors who sell the paper and write articles that bring attention to poverty with a personal voice and extensive knowledge, because this is their story.

The Bridge has soul. It’s not about politics or furthering some self-serving agenda—it’s about doing the right thing.

The name The Bridge references the Hernando de Soto Bridge, a defining feature of the Memphis skyline, but it also references our mission: to bridge the gap between the homeless and the sheltered by spreading awareness, facilitating conversation, and providing economic opportunity to those in need.

The International Network of Street Papers (INSP) has created an interactive map of street papers around the world. I strongly encourage you to check if there’s a street paper in your city, and to support the homeless community by purchasing street papers locally and when you travel. When you purchase a street paper, you’re joining the conversation and becoming a part of the solution.


Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd® Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

Bridging The Gap: The Power of the Street Paper
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STEMM’s Recent Tanzania Trip is Devine Intervention: Saving Lives and Changing Hearts

Cover Photo Courtesy of the Des Moines Register: A school bus in Tanzania crashes into a ravine on May 6, killing 35 people. Sioux City missionaries helped rescue three surviving kids. (Photo: Special to the Register)

This is a rare and compelling story about our Partners at STEMM Medical Ministry. When you come to the end, if you feel moved to offer support please contact me at Ginny@abodshelters.com.

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director Ginny@abodshelters.com

Many of you know we made a trip to Tanzania in January to build 10 Abod Shelters Partnering with Siouxland Tanzania Educational Medical Ministries (STEMM), operating in Mbuguni. It was an amazing experience building an Abod Micro Village with Ty Pennington, especially with a video film crew creating a level of excitement beyond our expectations. We made many close friendships with the STEMM leaders, Dr. Steve Meyer and wife Dana, along with Diane and Tim Bannister who direct the STEMM Campus activities.

The focus of the campus is to provide a safe and secure children’s care home and school that is sustained by a farming enterprise. The campus is also base camp for the medical ministry where college students studying to be medical professionals join mission groups to practice in real third word settings. Under the guidance of Dr. Meyer, they administer all types of health care in remote rural areas within a one-hundred-mile radius of the campus.

The Meyer’s have worked tirelessly to elevate the thinking of Tanzania’s leaders, to open their hearts to sincere US involvement to help its children grow up healthy, educated and capable of creating good productive lives. Lives that can nurture and care for the Tanzania of the Future –  to help it and its people get out of cycle of poverty and begin to prosper so they can take care of their families.

In recent years, the government has taken a hard stance on increasing help of the US on the position the country needs to rely on itself. At this juncture however, there does not seem to be evidence of positive change based upon this stance.

The STEMM Team inclusive of Dr. Meyer, his wife Dana and Board of Directors along with a group of medical students returned to Tanzania in late April. Part of these trips include experiencing the beauty of a game reserve. On Saturday, May 6th, seven of the STEMM Team were traveling to safari near Karatu, Tanzania, but were very upset with themselves for being over one hour late. The reserves have strict closing rules and once the park gates are shut at sunset no one can gain access until the next morning. The team was upset because they didn’t think they would have enough time to get through the park before the gates closed.

Personally looking back on life, many times when a delay in plans occur, I have come to realize ‘The Devine’ has other plans so we best just breathe deep and go with the flow. This proved to be true once again. The team, while upset about running late, were the third vehicle to come upon the most horrific school children bus accident in Tanzanian history.

Not thinking, we just acted on our training. “

Dr Steve Meyer

Dr. Meyer told me this story: “Miraculously, we had put together a medical team only three weeks before the trip and three of them were in our vehicle. The two vehicles ahead of us left earlier and did not have any medically trained passengers. It was just our van. The good news is our team was there acting as Triage Coordinator and First Responders who miraculously pulled three children out of the carnage with a heartbeat. Not thinking, we just acted on our training.

Unfortunately, while three were saved… thirty- two seventh graders, two teachers and the bus driver were all killed in the crash. The scene was horrific to say the least.”

Dr. Meyer went on to share what unfolded, “Our team loaded the three with obvious multiple fractures into a van which took them to the nearest hospital. They watched them disappear down the dirt road to what they hoped was competent resources at their destination. Amazingly, the next day our team saw a newspaper with the story of the terrible accident in it and asked the local newsboys where the children were. Once again, divine intervention was at play because the three children were taken to a hospital a few blocks away from the Game Reserve.

Understandably, the STEMM Team felt incredibly compelled to see the children particularly since one of them was for all intents and purposes dead on the scene. When they arrived at the hospital there was such tight security protecting the children, they had no hope to get in to see them.

Remarkably as they stood there wondering what to do, a well-dressed Tanzanian approached them who said he recognized them from their photos on YouTube and as Secretary of Health Minister he would be happy to take them to see the kids!”

Upon seeing the kids, Dr. Steve spoke with his STEMM Team and “it was decided to do everything in our power with God’s help to get them to America for the best professional body restoration possible.” Despite the Tanzanians government recent firm rhetoric that as a sovereign country they did not need Western assistance, incredibly they suddenly reversed this mandate. Not only did they agree to allow the children to travel to America but also agreed to work tirelessly attaining passports for the children and allowed their mothers to come with them. In addition, on the American front, despite the incredible financial challenges at Sioux City’s Mercy Hospital, they amazingly agreed to fully underwrite all the medical care required for the three children.

STEMM founders Steve Meyer and Lazaro Nyalandu, also a member of Tanzania’s National Assembly, visit the three survivors at Mt. Meru hospital in Arusha. (Photo: Special to the Register)

The Tanzanian government agreement came only after an astonishingly arranged meeting between Dr. Meyer and the vice president of Tanzania. After 60 hours of urgent, non-stop lobbying and phone calls, the only option left was to pay the $300,000 for private air ambulance to get the children to the states quickly so they could get the reconstructive care needed to offer them a life worth living again.

As this was unfolding for Dr. Meyer, an orthopedic surgeon himself, was wrestling with the agonizing decision of departing with his team back to America or stay behind to care for the kids. But then the greatest miracle of all occurred. Dr. Steve took a phone call from Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse. Mr. Graham explained, as-a-result of lobbying from Congressman Steve King, he was willing to do all he could to transport these children back to America. And so, it was to be.

After a 40-plus hour flight across the ocean and a full week of series of surgeries these children are now on their way to physical, emotional and spiritual restoration. These children will now be a legacy of light and a living memorial to one East Africa’s greatest school children’s tragedies.

Divine intervention yields a change of heart as the result from the episodic situation is the entire heart set and dialogue in Tanzania has changed from unbearable grief to exhaling Joy and Hope. The witness of love for humanity and compassion for these children is a paradigm changing occurrence and an example for the world to see and understand. It raises us above our difference to celebrate our common ground – our humanity. This is a stellar example of how together we can honor life as a precious gift.

We wish the children of Tanzania a positive recovery and salute Dr. Meyer, wife Dana and all those at STEMM for the incredible work. Your friends at Abōd Shelters® will do all we can to help you through this recovery and to help at the campus when the kids return to Tanzania. Readers please come back for follow-up reports.


In heartfelt service,

Ginny Shiverdecker
Executive Director


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

STEMM’s Recent Tanzania Trip is Devine Intervention: Saving Lives and Changing Hearts
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Basic Human Rights: Abod Shelters Has Shown What’s Possible

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

The cover photo was taken during our project of building 10 Abōd® Shelters in 10 days in Tanzania. Photo credit to Will Johnston, Tiny Homes Atlanta, who helped with the build.

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Michelle Rothfus, Project Coordinator Abōd® Shelters

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family. From dormitory housing in a remote area in Zambia to emergency housing to a family in South Africa to life saving birthing centers in Tanzania, Abod Shelters have made a difference for many in Africa. We started as an idea for those in need and now have a proven model that can be built anywhere in Africa. Check out some of what we have accomplished below and reach out to get involved!

Blessman International, South Africa


Many children are orphaned as a result of the Aids Epidemic. Blessman International and Abōd® Shelters collaborated to create an orphan community project using Abōd® Shelters. Since then several other projects have been completed;

Five Abōd® Shelters were built as a community on Del Cramer Campus in 2013. One single mother, Annah, and her two-year old son, Danita, were the first to move in. Grandmothers, which they are referred to as “Grannies” in this village, moved into the homes next with children they were already caring for in addition to a few homeless children.

Five Abōd® Shelters were built for the Children’s Village located in Zebediela, South Africa in 2009. This is a small successful school system where 120 children attend daily to get educated and are able to play together safely.

Five Abōd® Shelters were built at Shikwaru Lodge in 2013 to house lodging staff and students from Iowa State University completing internships through Blessman International.

One home was provided to Talent and his family in 2015 after their home was destroyed by a tree falling on it.

Blessman International conducts numerous sustainable outreach programs in Africa to aid those in need. Housing is one of our programs and using Abōd® Shelters has allowed us to provide a low cost housing solution to support our brothers and sisters in South Africa build a sustainable future.”

Dr. Jim Blessman, Blessman International

Abōd® Shelters values Blessman International’s long-time presence in South Africa and values its understanding of the areas environment and culture. Learn more about Blessman International and how they are serving in South Africa.

Hoops of Hope


The Johnathan Sim Chikanta Secondary School was built and started in 2007. It is the only secondary school in a 70-mile area. The dormitories were soon overcrowded and teacher housing was desperately needed. The school’s challenge was the time that it took to build housing as well as the expense.

Working with Hoops of Hope and World Vision, Abōd® Shelters were chosen because they were simple and quick to build and very affordable. The Abōd® Shelters manufacturers traveled from South Africa to the remote area of Twachiyanda, Zambia. The Abōd® Shelters are being used as girl’s dormitories and several were built to be homes for teachers.

Abod did an amazing job with these structures and the girls love them. Each structure will house approximately 10 girls.”

Dan Gutwein, Hoops of Hope

Acts2Collective


Childbirth is the number one cause of death in the village of Asikuma located in Ghana, Africa. This is one of the reasons Acts 2 Collective, a non-profit organization with work in Ghana, Chad, Central African Republic, Zambia, Africa and Des Moines, Iowa, has focused their outreach in this location. They have improved the lives of many in this village by providing health care, education, orphan care and athletics.

In March of 2015 Abōd® Shelters were built in this small village to create birthing and maternity centers with the goal of decreasing mother and baby mortality rates. Additional Abōd® Shelters were built to support the local fish farm. The purpose of these are to house workers and consultants of this project as well as create mobile storage for fish food and equipment.

Doug Vander Weide, CEO and President of VW Advisors is a key player in everything they have accomplished. He traveled from Des Moines, IA USA to Ghana to be part of the Abōd® Shelters build.

“Building the Abod Shelters birthing center and providing a home for the maternity nurse has caused quite a stir. The nurse said all of her senior colleagues have requested to be transferred to this area to use these nicer facilities. In addition, providing a new home for our manager at the fish farm will make a huge impact on growing that business. People traveled from all over the area to see the Abod Shelters and how they were being used. I believe we’ve made quite an impact on Ghana with these new additions.

Doug Vander Weide, Abōd® Shelters Chairman

Siouxland Tanzania Educational Medical Ministries (STEMM)


STEMM was organized in 1997 to develop a relational bridge between Siouxland and Tanzania by addressing the priorities of spiritual growth, medical care, and educational opportunities. Over the past several years they have supported many Tanzanians in through education and medical programs. They’ve also branched out into health education and support for orphans.

Abōd Shelters® were built to provide homes for teachers, local workers and a birthing center for mothers to be.

Everyone has the right to a home, food, clothing, medical care, necessary social services and the right to security. While the NGO’s that we partner with have specific target areas they work in along with established relationships and local resources in the area, there is typically a housing need of some sort where the traditional building structure is cost prohibited. Abōd Shelters® collaborates with NGO’s on housing needs and provides the solution.

Abōd® Shelters Foundation can’t succeed alone, which is why we work with Partners to provide a choice, not charity. We’ve shown what’s possible but we have a long way to go. Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.

If you know of an organization that we could work together with to make an even bigger difference, I’d be very grateful if you’d forward it and share it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!


Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd® Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com You may also donate to build an Abōd®.


Basic Human Rights: Abod Shelters Has Shown What’s Possible
read more