Many high school coaches talk about the higher calling they serve in leading and helping form young men and women. That was the case for Hollister (Mo.) High football and baseball coach Mark Roepke for 31 years, until he suddenly realized that there was a way he could have an even bigger impact on those truly in need.
As reported by the Springfield News Leader, Roepke made the surprising decision to step down from his post as football and baseball coach at Hollister following the 2013 season because he and his wife decided to open a homeless shelter.
Roepke says that the new facility will be focused on helping families with area teens who have been displaced by financial hardship get back on their feet. According to Roepke, the shelter will be called "Temporary Home."
So far, the Roepkes have formed a board for their new charity and are currently developing a logo and focusing on legal hurdles that must be solved before the shelter can be opened.
While the facility may still be more than a year away from opening, it’s clear that Roepke is not regretting his decision.
"[A series of Hollister students told guidance counselors] they didn't know what they were going to do, some would couch hop from friend to friend, and hearing that just solidified to me that it’s time to do this," Roepke told the News Leader. "We're seeking the Lord’s will and asking for guidance."
The guidance will come, and much of it is likely to be provided by Roepke himself. After all, that’s what he’s been doing for 31 years, albeit with a slightly different audience.
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