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! 

Double Your Money With Broken Chains Ministry and Wayside Furniture’s Matching Gift Program

This month, all financial gifts of up to $100 made to Broken Chains Ministry (BCM) will be matched, dollar-for-dollar by Wayside Furniture in Akron as part of the Matching Grant program. The program will match up to $100,000 in contributions to local nonprofit organizations now through Nov. 25.

How it Works

Every donation of up to $100 made by check and sent by mail to BCM now through Nov. 25 will be matched by Wayside Furniture – so, a gift of $10 is $20; a gift of $50 is $100; a gift of $100 is $200!

How to Donate

Now through Wednesday, Nov. 25 Send a check of any amount to Broken Chains Ministry at P.O. Box 502 Akron, Ohio 44309. (Online and cash contributions DO NOT qualify for this program). 

OR Friday through Sunday, Nov. 27 - 29: Bring your donation in person to Wayside Furniture at 1367 Canton Rd. Akron, Ohio 44312, and note Broken Chains Ministry as your charity of choice. 

We have already met 27% of our goal to raise $20,000! Your gift now goes even further to help us make a difference in the Akron community!

To learn more about Broken Chains Ministry, visit http://www.brokenchainsministry.org/what-we-do. For all the details about our program and the positive economic impact to the community, visit http://www.brokenchainsministry.org/read-me


In order to qualify, your tax deductible contribution must reach the BCM office by Wednesday November 25, 2015, or be made in person at Wayside Furniture between Nov. 27-29. Limit one contribution per household or organization.

Join Broken Chains Ministry for National Make a Difference Day, Oct. 24

Make plans now to join Broken Chains Ministry for the 24th national Make a Difference Day on Oct. 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Volunteers will gather at 431 Massillon Road in Akron, the location of the first house purchased as part of BCM’s new home ownership program.

“One of the barriers our clients face when returning to the community is finding affordable, quality housing in decent neighborhoods,” said Dennis Shawhan, executive director of Broken Chains Ministry. “Through our new home ownership program, we are now able to offer successful clients an opportunity to purchase a home which is truly life changing.”

This is the first of many homes the organization hopes to purchase as part of the home ownership program. Applicants must meet strict qualifications including full payment of any fines, restitution, and fulfillment of probation or parole. Each application must also be pre-qualified for a mortgage, and be able to provide a down payment.

“When successful participants move through our work force development program, they sustain employment, and by doing so they are able to establish a work history and credit,” Shawhan said. “This helps set them up for success including home ownership.” 

For more information or to contact BCM, email us via our Contact page.

Join this event on Facebook at Facebook.com/BrokenChainsAkron


Broken Chains Ministry Announces New, Mobile-Friendly Website

Broken Chains Ministry (BCM) is proud to unveil its new mobile-friendly website. The website features new photos, recent video, a section devoted to special projects including the award-winning Urbean Cafe work force development program, the latest news, and various ways to take action to support the mission including the option to make a secure donation

BCM extends sincere thanks to all of the partners who have contributed in various ways to the continued success of this important work. 

Urbean Cafe - Helping Former Offenders Gain Employable Skills

The Akron Beacon Journal took the time to speak with Rev. Dennis Shawhan, Executive Director of Broken Chains Ministry, and Joy Rios, Urbean Cafe manager about what the mission of the cafe truly is. In the article, Dennis talks about the skills that BCM clients learn within the cafe environment. In addition to creating stability and a restored sense of personhood, these skills allow the staff to more easily transition to other job opportunities with a high rate of success.

Joy shares her personal story by narrating the events in her life that lead to her time in the penitentiary, the process of reformation, and the many ways Broken Chains Ministry and the Urbean Cafe have helped her restore her life. 

Read the full article by visiting Ohio.com. Video by Smithberger Photography (April, 2014).