Community | Summer 2019

OPEN M takes a holistic approach to ending generational poverty

OPEN M
Photo courtesy of OPEN M

OPEN M is best known by its acronym, but its full name, Opportunity for People Everywhere in Need Ministry, spells out its mission: helping people living in generational and situational poverty succeed in long-term jobs.

“All our programs, from free health care to food assistance and financial literacy classes, lead back to our overarching goal: self-sustainability through helping people findand keepa full-time job,” says OPEN M CEO Bob Titus.

In the last two and half years, he says, the Christian ministry has helped more than 200 people maintain full-time employment.

Breaking down barriers

OPEN M’s intensive five-day workshop is a cornerstone of its Community Works Akron program. Held monthly, the workshop’s 20 classes are led by University of Akron faculty and human resources experts. 

Participants work with mentors to learn to create budgets, open bank accounts, and plan for the future. OPEN M also works in other ways to remove barriers to long-term employment.

“During the program’s first six months, we provide transportation to and from workour van runs from five in the morning late into the night,” Titus says.

Those working with the organization also understand the destabilizing effects of sickness and hunger. The 70 doctors who volunteer across 21 specialties in its free clinic saw more than 3,500 patients last year.

“In addition to everything from cardiology and mental health services, it’s the only clinic in the area providing free dental and vision care,” he says.

OPEN M also operates four food assistance programs, which last year helped 42,000 people through its senior box program, emergency food assistance, hot lunches, and monthly food giveaways.

Changing lives

OPEN M could not transform lives without the support of individuals, as well as stakeholders such as Huntington that support its mission, says Titus.

“Huntington donated $50,000 to our Community Works program last year and is always thinking progressively about how to help us move to the next level,” says Titus. “They look for ways for us to work together to make Akron a better place for everyone.”

About the organization

Name: OPEN M
Website: openm.org
City: Akron, Ohio
Phone: (330) 434-0110
Mission: To provide pathways out of poverty for all by feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and strengthening the community

How you can help

Individual donations and volunteers help OPEN M continue its mission. Visit its website to learn more about becoming a donor or volunteer.


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