Forward House was founded in 1992 by Ed and Joanne Mullis, both of whom had been employed by Union Gospel Mission, and who believed the Lord was calling them to use their program and leadership abilities and launch a new resident ministry to men living on the margins of society. With the purchase of the property at 407 Chalmers, they began with the admission of 8 men into the early stages of the resident rehabilitation program, focused on those recovering from alcoholism, drug addiction, incarceration and mental health problems.
The Mullis’ lived in and managed the program until 2001, at which time Joanne took on the role of Director of Forward House until her passing in 2013. From then until early 2020, Peter Harzan was the Director, using his business experience, understanding of addictions, and faith to help and guide the residents. In January 2020, the Board of Directors appointed Staci Baily as Executive Director.
Over the years, Forward House has acquired several adjacent properties and further developed the initial property into what it is today, a facility able to house up to 25 men. They receive support, training, education and assistance in improving the quality of their lives, with the goal of one day leading independent living.
With the appointment of a new Board of Directors in 2019, Forward House has cast a broader new vision for its future in reaching out to individuals who have experienced marginalization, incarceration and poverty.