The ministry began in a small building near downtown Des Moines where more than 250 homeless teens came to be loved and hear the truth of God's Word. In 2005 God's plan to reach more youth continued to unfold, as Freedom opened the Promise House for young adult men ready to change their lives. In May 2006, the ministry acquired a six-acre property in inner-city Des Moines. The campus underwent major renovations and, in 2007, we launched elementary, middle, and high school programs. The campus now includes buildings for woodworking, employment training welding, auto mechanics, art, culinary training, computers, worship, and large group activities.
In 2009 and 2010, Freedom built and opened a 5,000-square foot transitional home for young women in addition to starting a statewide outreach ministry to help towns across Iowa reach youth with gospel-centered programs. Now there are Freedom Centers across the Des Moines Metro and in Mitchellville (opened 2009), Stuart (2011), Perry (2013), Winterset (2015), Knoxville (2016), Huxley (2016), and Carlisle (2017).
In 2011, the ministry founded as an enterprise, Freedom Blend Coffee. It is a coffee business that empowers high-school youth and young adults through Christ-centered employment training. In 2014, Freedom for Youth purchased a car wash located on the west end of the Des Moines campus and began renovating the structure into a retail coffee house projected to open in summer 2017. Freedom Construction Services was founded in 2015 as an employment training enterprise.
In 2016, Freedom received funding to purchase Scores Bar, next to the coffee shop. We got straight to work on a design plan and have secured approval from the city to bulldoze the bar down and start construction on a Children’s Center in early Fall 2017.
Today, more than 550 youth participate in programs each week at Freedom Centers across the state. Young people are discovering their God-given talents and planning their future. Some graduates are attending a 4-year college or trade school, or starting careers in health care, manufacturing, construction, and ministry.
Throughout its history, the ministry has seen God consistently provide all we need. Consequently, Freedom has no long-term debt, and all donor contributions go toward supporting programs rather than paying off debt.
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I like coming to Freedom because most of my friends are here and it’s really fun and they help you with your homework.