Joanne Kendall is Honored Citizen at local prayer event
VANCOUVER — Joanne Kendall, founder of the local homeless outreach Open House Ministries, will be the Honored Citizen at the upcoming 16th annual Clark County Prayer Breakfast on Thu., Nov. 9.
Open House Ministries opened in 1986, and was founded by Bob and Joanne Kendall. According to Judy McMorine, development director at Open House Ministries, the ministry was an outgrowth of Kendall’s church group that gathered in Esther Short Park.
McMorine said that in the early 1980s, Kendall noticed an increase in homeless women with children in Esther Short Park that would approach the church group asking for essentials such as diapers and baby formula.
“It just moved her,” McMorine explained. “She knew something had to be done.”
In 1986, Bob and Joanne bought a 10-room boarding house to provide resources for the homeless. Open House Ministries was always intended to be more than just a homeless shelter, however. McMorine said that Kendall believed in giving people the chance to change their lives.
Open House Ministries offers shelter, intervention services and Christ-based education programs. According to McMorine, Kendall believes that “if they come to God, their life really can be changed.”
In the three decades that Open House Ministries has operated, it has moved to a larger facility and expanded its operations. However, Kendall has remained active in the ministry for most of the past 30 years.
She taught classes at the shelter for 30 years, and still serves on the board of directors of the outreach.
“She’s a really gracious lady and so humble,” McMorine said. “Yet she’s forthright in her conviction and her faith in God.”
With Kendall’s work and legacy in the community still ongoing, McMorine said that it is a blessing to be able to know and work with her.
“I can’t think of anyone that would be more deserving of this honor,” McMorine said with regards to Kendall’s selection as Honored Citizen at the Prayer Breakfast.
The Prayer Breakfast is scheduled to take place on Thu., Nov. 9 from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Hilton in Downtown Vancouver. The theme for this year’s Prayer Breakfast is “Making a Difference.”
The event offers a chance for local citizens to join together to honor and pray for local leaders and public officials. Prayers will be led by local clergy and religious leaders.
Additionally, the breakfast will honor first responders, active military members and veterans for their service to the community and country.
Larry Whittlesey, national director of the US Mission Network for the YMCA, will be the keynote speaker at the event.
Tickets to the event can be reserved online until midnight on Sun., Nov. 5. Individual tickets are $40 per person or $400 for tables of 10 people.
There will be limited ticket availability on the day of the Prayer Breakfast itself, with individual tickets costing $45.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Clark County Prayer Breakfast website at http://clarkcountyprayerbreakfast.org/.