In 1971 Glen Elk was a raucous section of town with homeless veterans of WW II, Korea and Vietnam sleeping in doorways and under the 4th Street Bridge. A group of compassionate, forward thinking and civic minded pastors and business persons purchased and rehabbed our blue building in the center of the block. They hung our Jesus Saves sign and offered emergency shelter and meals to these veterans. In the intervening years services have expanded as has our site. We now occupy buildings along the entire block and have opened men’s and a women’s sober living homes on East Pike Street. Through growth in need and by God’s provision we have we evolved from an emergency shelter and soup kitchen to so much more as a bright light in the darkness. In addition to veterans we serve men, women and children as a Christ-centered community providing love and hope to the lost.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
John Paul Nardelli
Lisa Watson Hartline
Joy Bennett Jarrett
Previous Members (114 Years of Service)
KEY STAFF MEMBERS
Lou Ortenzio – Executive Director
“God never wastes a hurt” is a good way to look at Romans 8:28. All my struggles, from a family physician who became an early casualty of the opioid epidemic, and my foray into the criminal justice system, provides me with a testimony and a vantage point. From my journey, I can share the rescue I received through the love and hope that only comes from Jesus Christ. I am honored to be a 12-year employee of The Clarksburg Mission and I now serve as the executive director.
Every day, I get to go and work with a great staff who truly loves the Lord and goes above and beyond to share the good news. I am very grateful to work in the Holy Spirit Hot Spot that The Mission is. I get to see miracles happen every day. We are humbled to build the Kingdom through our ministry. Our Christian community is undoubtedly transforming our community. Please come by to see what we are so enthused about.
Andy Bailey – Sober Living Home Coordinator
I am the Sober Living Home Coordinator that has been given the opportunity to lead our long-term recovery homes on East Pike Street. I suffered years of substance use disorder and more than a few brushes with the criminal justice system. Today I have years of recovery and by God’s Grace have been given back “all that the moths had eaten” and so much more, as referenced in Joel 2. I am passionate and driven to share Jesus Christ, guide others through recovery and grow the Harrison County recovery community. Please come see our beautiful houses.
Dale Baker – Veterans Program Coordinator
Those who sacrificed to serve our country deserve to not be homeless. Helping veteran residents find their way to a better life, assist with recovery issues, mental health care coordination, housing applications, employment, and reconnections with family. I strive to let our former servicemen and women see that someone cares about their needs not looking at their past but walking with them into their future a better way of living through Jesus. In addition this job is a blessing to me as I work with God his Son and his Spirit and an awesome Godly staff who show support and love for all.
Christie Johnson – Volunteer Coordinator
I first came to the mission in 2015 as a resident. After a month, I was able to find an apartment for me and my son. In 2019, a job opportunity led me back to the mission in the Women’s Dorm. I have had many opportunities to help our homeless community with housing, obtaining birth certificates, social security cards and identifications. As the Volunteer Coordinator, I get to work with people who have an interest in helping their community and being a part of our community. I have always been a Christian but my love for Christ has grown so much since I started working at the mission. I strive daily to live the way Christ would have me live.
Desi Underwood – Assistant Director
About nine years ago, I moved to West Virginia from Ohio with my husband and five children. Though I was not taught about Jesus as a child, I gave my life to Christ about seven years ago. I used to envy those raised by Godly parents, but I now see that living most of my life without Christ and then experiencing a new life in Christ is a true gift; a gift that gives me the ability to minister to new believers in a way that I may not have been able to otherwise.
When I was in my early twenties, I experienced homelessness. At the time I did not realize, but it was a blessing in disguise. Those memories are what led me to The Clarksburg Mission – exactly where the Lord wanted me to be. Being able to come alongside, and relate to new believers as they find recovery and new hope in Christ is a blessing beyond measure. My life, as well as the many lives the Lord leads to our door, are all proof that God indeed works all things for good for those who love Him.
Angie Knight – Resurrection Program Manager
I came to the Mission as a struggling resident over 10 years ago having failed out of 18 rehabs centers with stints in jail, multiple hospital stays, overdoses, alcoholic coma and seizures. My life is proof that recovery is not a straight line. But through every twist and turn I learned more and more and now am in long term recovery. I finally realized God was there all along and today I continue to grow in my relationship with Him. Now I get to share my experience, strength, and hope with residents and show the love God has shown me. I was a cheerleader all through my school years but today I am cheering for others every step of the way because even the smallest of steps matter!
Carol Baker – Women’s Sober Living House Manager
I do what I love, because I love what I do! I am truly blessed to be the Women’s House Manager. I have so many loved ones who have struggled and or lost their lives to addiction. I believe I can lead those desiring to make a change. I thank the Lord for this opportunity, “We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us!” Phil 4:13.
I’ve worked in several positions with Clarksburg Mission over the years, but this suits me best. I love helping people and being able to give them an opportunity to make the necessary changes to overcome their addiction. I am stronger in my faith now, as I see those that are here working in the program. I believe everyone deserves a chance to live their life and be free from addiction.