In 1997, a woman slept on the steps of the Union Baptist Church in Mystic for three nights. On her last morning there, she joined the worship service and left a dollar bill with a note in the collection basket. Her note explained that upon losing her job she had become homeless. Three weeks earlier she had been stably housed. The minister at the time, Rev. Dr. G. Kenneth Carpenter, shared the story with his and neighboring congregations. They agreed that there was a need to help the growing homeless population. In a call to action, they recruited the help of human service agencies, local business groups and the faith community.
Always Home, formerly known as Mystic Area Shelter and Hospitality (MASH), was founded in 1998 by members of the community to address the needs of homeless and at-risk families. From the start, our mission has always been to help parents and their children avoid the lasting trauma of homelessness. Since our founding, Always Home has helped over 2,100 families find solutions to their housing crisis and create a path forward.
Always Home and Union Baptist Church continue to share a special bond. The church is at the heart of our founding and has generously supported our mission for the past twenty-two years. It has provided a home for our organization by donating office space and shared our mission goals through meaningful Board participation. Founding Board member Rev. Dr. G. Kenneth Carpenter served for 20 years and is our first Emeritus Board member. The Church's present Senior Minister, Reverend Dr. Lonnie Brown, continues this history of stewardship, serving as Vice President of our Board. We are deeply grateful for the Church's shared commitment to community outreach and the countless volunteer hours it's congregation has dedicated to our mission.