For more than 70 years, Haven of Rest Ministries has been serving Akron and beyond, providing faith-based services and programs that cater to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of men, women and children in need.
Throughout the 70-plus-year history of Haven of Rest, the ministry has not taken a single federal dollar, relying solely on grant money, and more importantly, donations.
Back in 1943, Reverend C.C. Thomas and his wife, Marjorie, opened the ministry in a small storefront on North Howard Street. In 1952, Haven broke ground on a new facility on East Buchtel that housed a clinic to treat people suffering from alcohol addiction and withdrawal. The ministry upgraded to a more modern Rescue Mission in 1974.
After his passing in 1976, Reverend C.C. Thomas was succeeded by his son, Reverend Curtis Thomas. In 2003, Rev. Thomas retired, handing over the leadership to Reverend Ben. W. Walker. In 2011, Reverend Jeffrey Kaiser took over as executive director, and has been running Haven of Rest since.
Over the past year, Haven of Rest Ministries has served nearly 270,000 and have hosted 59,800 nights of shelter in Akron. Rubber City Radio Group visited the Haven of Rest this week, ahead of the annual WQMX Tree of Lights campaign, and Reverend Jeff Kaiser told us that roughly 6,000 volunteers worked at the facility this last year.
For nearly two decades, in a tradition that began with the old WSLR at the O'Neil's Building, WQMX has been lighting up Akron with the annual Tree of Lights campaign raising money to help the homeless and needy in our area through Akron's Haven of Rest Ministries Akron,OH. Every donation lights a bulb on the 3 story Tree of Lights on our building. For more information on our charity visit www.havenofrest.org.
How You Can Help:
1) Stop by the WQMX Studios during our 2 -day live broadcast Friday, December 1st and Saturday, December 2nd from 9am-7pm at 1795 West Market St. in Akron 44313. Make a donation & say hello to our WQMX staff members
2) Donate online at https://
3) Call our statewide toll free hotline during the radiothon Friday, December 1st and Saturday, December 2nd from 6am until 7pm 1-855-254-2819
Schedule of Events Friday, December 1st
4-7pm- Live Reindeer courtesy of Spring Mist Farms in Brunswick
Schedule of Events Saturday December 2nd
12:30-2:30pm- Photos with Santa & Mrs Claus - suggested donation $5.00
7pm- We Light the Star!
Details are emerging from a fatal shooting in a parking lot behind Akron's Haven of Rest Ministries involving a Stow police officer and an unnamed suspect.
The suspect was killed, the officer was injured but treated and released from a local hospital.
In a news release from Stow police, the suspect was reportedly knocking on the door of a residence on Meadowbrook Boulevard at 10:46 p.m. Sunday night asking for cigarettes. He fled the area, but officers located him nearby and decided to transport him to the Haven of Rest Shelter.
While in the parking lot behind the shelter, police say the suspect became aggressive and the officer requested backup from Akron police; before they arrived, the officer called in "shots fired" on his radio.
The subject was taken to a local hospital where he died.
The incident is being investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
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(Stow PD) At 2246 hours on Sunday, 09/03/17, officers of the Stow Police Department responded to the area of Meadowbrook Boulevard to locate a male subject who had approached a residence, beat on the door, and, when the occupants answered, asked for cigarettes. He then fled the area.
The subject was located on an adjacent street and it was determined he would be transported to Haven of Rest in Akron, Ohio. Following the arrival in the parking lot of Haven of Rest, the officer requested back up from the Akron Police Department as the subject had become aggressive. Before they arrived, the officer reported shots had been fired and the subject was injured. The officer also was injured.
The subject, who will not be identified at this time pending notification of next of kin, succumbed to his wounds at an Akron hospital. The officer was treated for his injuries and released.
The incident occurred in Akron and will be investigated by Ohio BCI. All questions or inquiries should be referred to BCI.
The wind chill is pushing temperatures below zero in the Akron area -- prompting a local shelter to issue a "Code Zero" alert.
Haven of Rest has issued a "Code Zero" Alert to remind those in need that the shelter is open 24/7. The shelter will be open for guests looking for a place to get warm -- and for those interested in a meal or simply a hot cup of coffee.
Since the start of the New Year, Haven of Rest Ministries has noticed an increase in the amount of people seeking shelter -- and that number is expected to climb with temperatures in the teens and the wind chill forcing that number below zero.
For more than 70 years, Haven of Rest Ministries has opened its doors on Christmas Day to serve dinner to hundreds of people in need.
But if you ask Executive Director Jeff Kaiser, he'll tell you it's more than just a hot meal.
"We really want to get to know the individual one-on-one," said Jeff Kaiser, executive director of Haven of Rest. "So our goal is always to make that connection even though we might have 200 or 240 people staying down here a night."
Whether someone is homeless, hungry or alone on Christmas Day, Haven of Rest spends the holiday preparing a fresh meal for hundreds of individuals and families around the Akron area. Each guest also received a bag of toiletry items and a Christmas stocking filled with treats.
"A lot of these people are very discouraged and there are a lot of hardships in their life. So we want to try to encourage them and offer them hope."
55-year-old Christopher Lemonte Lockett is no stranger to Haven of Rest Ministries. Several years ago, Lockett walked into Haven of Rest looking for shelter. On Friday morning, he returned to spend the holiday spreading a message of hope and strength.
"We damaged, but not done," said Locket. "That's why I'm here, to send that message."
Lockett said his mother passed away when he was just 18-year-old after battling alcoholism. He was left to take care of his siblings and later found himself battling the same addiction.
Lockett said Haven of Rest became his home where he could gain strength from the people who he now calls family.
"Everything that I've asked them for, they've never let me down. It's a beautiful place."