About Itasca Community Outreach Team (ICOT)

Ellen and Erik had previously created a ministry branch off the shelter ministry called "Ending Homelessness for One." Frustrated with the repeat of guests at the "interim" shelter, they looked to vet a repeat client that had a promising shot at independence but just needed a little financial boost, prayerful spiritual support, and someone willing to take a risk on them. Although there were very few potential clients that fit this description (who would even accept the help offer), Ellen and Erik had been divinely guided into creating a vetting process that would become the backbone for the Itasca Community Outreach Team (ICOT).

Ellen invited Itasca resident and expert volunteer Megan Sheridan to join in co-founding ICOT.  Megan coordinates the Itasca Food Pantry and volunteers at the Walk-In Ministry. She was the perfect third to balance out the team to complete the Itasca serving experience. Led by local referrals and the Holy Spirit, they found their first family; a recent widow with a primary school daughter.  The process in working with this first family became the ICOT template. First they vetted her, brainstormed a plan, again involved a local pastor (Itasca Christian Fellowship’s Pastor Lucas O’Neil) for spiritual consultation, and found local professionals/experts willing to lend a hand (discounted or free). Their overall goal to foster empowerment and not entitlement with The Itasca Widow (as seen on YouTube) was realized. Two years later she was back on her feet with a new driveway and some much needed rehab work done on areas of her home that she was able to keep. She now volunteers with Itasca Cares.



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