My greatest love has been working with the homeless.
In 1998, I began volunteering with the Catholic Worker Community of Akron, working with homeless women, men, and families. I have been serving on their Board of Directors for over twelve years.
In 2000, I founded Matthew 25 Ministries and served as its Resident Director. The project included a house of hospitality for homeless men, outreach to the Summit Lake area of Akron, and ministry at the Summit County jail. It was an honor to work my father, Joe Sr., to rehabilitate what had been a crack house and to begin the work of hospitality. We received great support from the Orthodox Christian communities of northeast Ohio. During the years 2000-2007, more than 200 homeless guests found transitional housing at Matthew 25 House.
Matthew 25 Ministries typically served people dealing with addiction, mental illness, disabilities, and felony histories. Guests were connected with every available social service in the hope of helping them reach independence. Our ministry also involved outreach to the Hispanic population in Akron. We have been blessed and enriched to know each of the people who stayed with us.
In 2004, Matthew 25 Ministries was very honored to be one of the recipients of the “Blessed Are the Peacemakers” Award by the World Council of Churches in honor of their Decade to Overcome Violence. In 2006, we also had the honor of receiving the Summit County Social Services “Making a Difference Award”.
I now have more than 15 years of professional experience in the areas of poverty ministry, youth ministry, and jail ministry. I had the privilege of serving as the Seasonal Program Director at OPEN M Ministries under Rev. Tim Crouch where I managed the Thanksgiving meals in seven locations, the Christmas outreach to more than 1000 people, a summer camp, and after-school tutoring programs for elementary and middle school students. I also enjoyed working as the Youth Ministry Director at CYO and Community Services. I have been a church musician for 25 years.
I am a member of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Akron, Ohio.