Without a Roof: How One Community Group is Doing it Right

Over the years, they have worshipped with us on Sunday, charged their phones at the offices, and some have worked with advocates through Veritas Mercy to create action plans. Now, our friends from this homeless camp near our Short North building are experiencing the kind of community that most community groups would be jealous to have.

Joel and Kelly
Kelly Coville and Joel Franck (pictured) talk about the powerful community they feel honored to lead.

“Jesus would make a beeline for these kind of people.” – Joel Franck

When it comes to joining a community group, there are obstacles beyond transportation that make it hard for people struggling with chronic poverty. In other words, even though houses all over Central Ohio are opening their homes, the homeless don’t make a habit of showing up. Perhaps the average Veritas community group isn’t yet a conducive space for those in chronic poverty. Perhaps the cultural differences are too hard to overcome. That didn’t stop Veritas members Joel Franck and Kelly Coville from seeing to it that the homeless could have an outlet for spiritual community. So, they created a mid-day group that meets at the Short North building. It’s nearby. It’s flourishing. And it’s teaching us things about community we’d do well to notice.

The hope in creating a group for the homeless was to offer what others more easily get out of community group–accountability, fellowship, discipleship, growth. But since the group has taken off, the co-leaders Joel Franck and Kelly Coville have observed special characteristics that this group displays, perhaps more powerfully than any other community group at Veritas: authenticity, hunger for God’s Word, and true accountability.

“Humble community is not the icing on the cake of Christianity. In a real way, it is the cake. These relationships of love are a means of personal growth, a mark of God’s people being purified, and a clear argument to the world for the truth of the gospel.” Timothy Lane & Paul Tripp, How People Change