Broken Chains Ministry Celebrates Opening of Lydia's Home

Akron’s Broken Chains Ministry is celebrating the successful grand opening of its first residential recovery home for women in Summit County. Located in Green, Lydia's Home comfortably accommodates six residents, supporting them in recovery from substance abuse and incarceration.

“Lydia’s Home offers a comprehensive recovery program within a home environment that’s built on Restorative Justice. It includes education in life formation, and support for substance abuse recovery, workforce readiness, identity restoration, restitution and financial literacy,” said Dennis Shawhan, executive director of Broken Chains Ministry. “A staff of five oversee the residents, where they receive care and supervision 24 hours a day. It’s a ‘zero tolerance’ program supported by a faith-based curriculum that sets everyone up for success.”

According to NBC News, opioid deaths in Ohio could reach 10,000 by the end of 2017.

“This is our faith response to the opioid crisis,” said Tamela Shawhan, operations manager. “The massive impact of the opioid crisis in Ohio put us on the fast track to completing everything needed to open. With the generous help of our community, we have made this dream a reality and have welcomed our first resident.”

The home includes an education room equipped with laptop computers, a library, a curriculum listening area, and reading area as well as a media room for presentations.

Generous contributions from community sponsors, donors, and volunteers, as well as numerous donations of goods and services have made Lydia’s Home possible.

For more information, to view a video, to explore a photo gallery and read the latest news, visit

Visit the Lydia's Home page to learn more, view a photo gallery and view a video. 

Join Us for Giving Weekend

Visit Wayside Furniture Giving Weekend Nov. 24-26

Donations up to $100 will be MATCHED by Wayside Furniture! Proceeds will benefit Lydia's Home, our faith response to the opioid crisis, as well as our Workforce Development and Reentry programs! 

Nov. 24-26 - VISIT Wayside Furniture
1367 Canton Rd, Akron, OH 44312
M-F 10-9, Sat. 10-6 , Sun. 12-6
Only checks will qualify.

For More Information:

Contact us, or call our Executive Director, Dennis Shawhan at 330-643-8663.

BCM Exceeds $50K Banquet Goal - THANK YOU!

More than 380 people from the community gathered to celebrate this year’s 14th annual Making the Difference Banquet including former offenders, judges, court officials, members of law enforcement, court officials, ministry leaders, nonprofit organizations, social enterprises, business owners, and members of the recovery community in Stark County.

Together we raised more than $50,000 to support ongoing BCM initiatives including Lydia’s Home, and saved thousands more through the in-kind donations of goods and services by many individuals and businesses.

The evening included a 90-minute program with a focus on the opioid epidemic in Northeast Ohio. A spotlight on personal stories of transformation as well as ongoing support from partners including WOW Ministry provided the stunning backdrop for our unique story and the success of our mission.

Thank you to our sponsor partners and all those who have given so generously of time, talent and treasure to support our vital work and those that we serve!

Together, we are helping to change lives and making our community a happier, healthier, safer place to call home! To learn more, volunteer or give to our Wish List, visit Take Action! 


Fourteenth Annual Banquet, September 22

Make plans now to join Broken Chains Ministry (BCM) to celebrate its fourteenth annual "Making the Difference" banquet scheduled Friday, September 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Guys Party Center of Akron.


This year, BCM is celebrating some major milestones its Home Ownership Program and the official launch of Lydia’s Home, a revolutionary recovery home for women overcoming opioid addiction and incarceration located in the City of Green.

Hear personal stories from clients who have moved from incarceration, addiction and darkness, to lives of faith, hope and work, guided by our faith ministry team. This transformational work is achieved through a unique faith-based, five-part Restorative Justice model that includes restitution and workforce development, and is made possible through generous cash and in-kind donations, sponsorships, advocates, volunteers and the collaborative support of the Summit County Reentry Network.  

The community is welcome to celebrate this incredible work through an evening of food and fellowship on September 22. BCM welcomes a love donation in support of the mission upon departure. For more information, call 330-643-8663.  

Third Annual "Bike for Mike" Event Set for May 20

All Proceeds Benefit Lydia’s Home and Summit County Jail Reentry Initiatives

Join Broken Chains Ministry (BCM) for its Third Annual Bike for Mike 3-mile Ride and 1-mile Walk on May 20 at 9:00 a.m. at Lake High School (LHS) Stadium in Uniontown, Ohio. The goal of this family friendly event is to raise money for Lydia’s Home, a supportive housing recovery and mentoring program for women located in the city of Green.

The event is co-hosted by LHS students. Pre-sale tickets are available on EventBrite for $20 through May 6, and, from May 7 until race day tickets will be $25. With a $10,000 challenge grant, BCM aims to raise $85,000 for Lydia’s Home – set for grand opening this summer. Some of the funds raised will support BCM’s existing reentry initiatives.


“Lydia’s Home will give women struggling with addiction the opportunity to transition to the community using a faith-based curriculum and mentoring approach,” said Dennis Shawhan, executive director of Broken Chains Ministry. “We’ve seen the drastic increase in opiate use and related deaths in Summit County, and we are dedicated to restoring and saving lives through a supportive housing program that will empower women throughout their recovery and set them up for success long after they complete the program.”

Lydia’s Home is named after a biblical character, Lydia, whose life was transformed by Jesus Christ, and as a result, she opened her home as a place of ministry, worship and hospitality.

“We’re grateful to our community partners, especially Lake High School for hosting this event for the third year and its students for their leadership in organizing the ride and walk,” Shawhan continued.

For more information visit our What We Do page or contact our staff via our Contact page. Register for this event.

Can’t attend but would like to donate? Donations can also be made securely and easily on our Donate page. Checks addressed to Broken Chains Ministry can be mailed to P.O. Box 502 Akron, Ohio 44309.

Thanks and Giving - Our Wish List!

As the warm weather fades away this fall, you can support the mission of Broken Chains Ministry by donating much needed items and small comforts for our clients. 

Our Fall/Winter 2016 Wish List 

NEW Items Needed:   

  • Hoodie's and sweatshirts (men and women)
  • Socks (men and women)
  • Personal care and hygiene products for men (including shaving cream)
  • Personal care and hygiene products for women (including feminine hygiene products)
  • Winter pajamas (men and women)
  • New Bibles
  • Notebooks, pens and pencils
  • Envelopes and postage stamps 

Nearly New Items Needed: 

  • Clean, gently used jackets and coats
  • Good quality paperback books
  • Backpacks
  • Medium to large purses

In this season of giving, your contribution will help meet the most basic needs of our clients, restore hope and support identity restoration. 

If you would like to donate a Wish List item, please contact our Ministry using our Contact page or call 330-643-8663 and a BCM team member will respond as soon as possible to make arrangements to receive your gift.

SAVE THE DATE! Making the Difference Banquet, Friday, Oct. 7

Photo Attribution, Guys Party Center

Photo Attribution, Guys Party Center

Broken Chains Ministry invites the community to attend our 13th annual "Making the Difference" benefit banquet scheduled Friday, October 7 at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Akron at Guys Party Center

This year's banquet will include a delicious meal, social time with friends and a sincerely transformative experience.

This annual event brings our clients, our Summit County Reentry Network (SCRN) partners and the Akron community together to hear success stories from clients. We celebrate their personal victories as they share captivating stories about moving from a life of incarceration to a life of hope, faith and work, with the support and dedication of our faith ministry team. 

Each year as you depart, we welcome you to make a donation to our mission. As always, we hope to see you at this fall’s banquet! For more information, contact us or call 330-643-8663.   

Urbean Cafe Celebrates FIVE YEARS!

On July 1, our Urbean Cafe work force development program proudly celebrated its five-year anniversary!

Led by Director, John Wiseman, the Urbean Cafe is located at The Robert K. Pfaff Metro Transit Center in Akron, Ohio. It supports local vendors and serves nearly 6,000 people each day. 

Since 2011, this program has contributed $1.5 million dollars to the local Akron-area economy! To learn more, visit our Urbean Cafe page!