Jericho Project Celebrates 10 Years of Serving the Homeless in Rockford

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- For 10 years the homeless and those less fortunate in the Rockford area have been able to rely on one project to continue to provide a meal that they can always count on.

For one volunteer the Jericho Project means more than just a hot meal and good company.

"This place did actually help save my life and this was just a small part of it, Said Craig Schmitt, Project Director for Jericho Project."

Craig Schmitt works at the Rockford Rescue Mission and serves as the Project Director for the Jericho Project which is celebrating 10 years of encouraging and helping the needy and homeless in the Rockford area.

Emmanuel Lutheran Churchs' Mission House, also known as the white house, on 5th Street in Rockford, opens it's doors three times a month by providing a meal some people may not get otherwise.

"It helps people like myself who need to supplement their food supply basically. I'm a very limited income and a place like this is really a blessing to everybody that comes here, Said Rockford Resident, Michael Pencakowski."

Schmitt knows many of the people who visit the Mission House because he can was once in their shoes.

"I had also come from homelessness and worked myself way back up and this place was integral back when I was out on the street to help me get back up on my feet, Said Craig Schmitt, Project Director for Jericho Project."

Homeless people like Dan Daly and Ronald Herlien have been coming to the white house for more than ten years.

"I thank God that it is open.. everyday because if it wasn't I don't know what I'd do, Said Ronald Herlien, who is homeless."

"There's a lot of pressure in Rockford for the homeless people an there's a lot of worries you know, a lot of life worries, this kind of eases it you know. You can come in here relax warm up and there's good food and the people are always a blessing, Said Dan Daly, who is homeless."

The Jericho Project was given a grant by the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois that will allow them to continue to serve the homeless and those less fortunate in the area.

The Jericho Project provides an average of 125 individuals with meals each week they are open.

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