16Runners, walkers and volunteers will unite on Saturday, Oct. 1 for the second annual launch of Ray’s Run, a 5k benefitting upgrades at The Lodge.
Operation InAsMuch runs The Lodge as part of its Able-Life program. The Lodge is a dedicated facility serving homeless men with a desire to change their lives. This year’s race will be in-person, a change from the inaugural and virtual race of 2021.

Opened in 2017, The Lodge typi- cally houses twelve men who have committed themselves to leading a drug-free life while on the path to employment and independence. According to Community Engagement Coordinator Kanesha Bryant, a typical day at The Lodge requires the residents to maintain the upkeep of the facility and attend training sessions to ensure a positive outcome as they move forward in their lives.

During the day, those who haven’t yet reintegrated into the workforce.

“Spend time in case management and building life skills,” Bryant said. “This ranges from resume building to job searches to financial literacy, to learning how to build relationships.”

For those who have already gained employment, the staff is available for coaching on continued success in the workplace. The 2022 Ray's Run 5k will raise
funds for The Lodge’s kitchen to be renovated in order to better pre- pare daily meals for its residents. By upgrading the kitchen to commercial quality, The Lodge will be able to serve nearly 50 meals per day. When the late Ray Helton served as Executive Director of OperationInAsMuch, he envisioned creating a launchpad for men to re-enter the workforce using services provided by The Lodge.

Today, The Lodge also offers in-house training and community service opportunities. Future plans point to a full-service recovery program with various therapists on staff.

“Our Lodge brothers aim to complete the program within two months and either transition into independent living, or become a candidate for Frink Street housing,” Bryant explained.

Frink Street allows further fine tuning to what the men have learned at The Lodge. The length of time men stay in the program varies from person to person, depending on their progress. The staff's goal is to ensure that no one moves on from the Operation InAsMuch programs until they are fully ready for success.

Registration is open until Sept. 29 with an entry fee of $30 per adult and $20 per child. The race will begin at Methodist University near Matthews Ministry Center (Parking Lot J) on Oct. 1 at 8:30 a.m. For those who want to participate by volunteering, click Ray’s Run Volunteer. Donations to Operation InAsMuch can also be made, at any time, via FAOIAM.

For more information visit https://www.faoiam.org/raysrun/. Whether you opt to participate as a runner or volunteer (or offer a donation), you will do so knowing that the residents of The Lodge appreciate your support.

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