By Matt Getts
ALBION — The numbers are sobering.
In 2016, Noble House Ministries provided shelter for 90 women, 24 men and 26 children. These were individuals who found themselves struggling with the hardships of homelessness, addiction and abuse.
On Christmas Day, Roesener took a phone call from a Kendallville church pastor who found a man sleeping on a bench in that city. The pastor took the man home for a warm meal, and called Roesener to see if he had any housing available.
Roesener was able to find space at Pilot House, but it became at least temporarily unnecessary when a friend of the man offered to provide shelter.
“It does happen here,” said David Roesener, Noble House Ministries’ executive director. “It can easily become unnoticed that there are people truly struggling.”
Roesener was named interim executive director after Terrell Brown chose to leave the organization in March. In July, Roesener was named the new full-time executive director.
“I have a real heart for the people,” Roesener said. “There are people with difficulties that the community … doesn’t have the time to resolve.”
Noble House Ministries fills that void.
Roesener said his main points of emphasis are:
• to help the residents heal, give back to the community and become independent; and
• to get the community involved.
Roesener got involved in philanthropy early in life.
After graduating from Concordia Lutheran High School in 1977, he studied history and political science. During his college years, he interned one summer at Bread for the World in New York City, a group that studied hunger issues.
After graduating from Taylor, Roesener worked in the insurance industry as a compliance officer, making sure his firm was following all state rules and regulations. He retired after 30 years.
But it wasn’t time to take it easy, it was time to give back.
“I wanted to get more involved in the community,” he said.
Approximately five to six years ago, he went to his first Noble House auction, a key November fundraiser for the organization. He soon joined the board of directors, and became the board’s president in 2014.
Seeing down-on-their-luck people get back on their feet is what keeps his spirits up.
“That is the motivation to keep going,” he said.
Serving others isn’t just a feel-good opportunity, it’s a calling.
“We are a faith-based ministry,” Roesener said. “It really is a ministry. We do have a big responsibility to care for them.”
Roesener said the close relationships Noble House Ministries has with local churches is critical.
Now, he wants to get more people involved.
His goal now is “to do a better job of communicating who we are,” Roesener said.
Noble House and Pilot House also have gotten into the giving-back spirit by taking part in the recent Noble County Day of Caring, which is organized by the United Way of Noble County.