About Tomi Cardin
Tomra “Tomi” Cardin has been executive director of Redemption House since August 2012.
Tomi grew up in Bluffton, Ind., and graduated from Norwell High School. She graduated from IPFW in Fort Wayne, and has spent her adult life living in Fort Wayne. As a young adult, she became a Christian through the ministry of a loving pastor and his wife. In fact, she committed her life to Christ at their kitchen table.
In November 2003, the pastor’s wife invited Tomi to help her conduct a chapel service at the Allen County Jail. She was 28 years old at the time. It became a life-changing experience for Tomi. She knew nothing about jail ministry, but knew immediately she was supposed to be there and that she had to remain involved.
Tomi submitted an application to be a volunteer jail chaplain…and was rejected. But God wouldn’t let her drop the idea. She went through six more months of resubmitting applications, and begging and pleading her case.
Finally, in March 2004, Tomi was approved. She then began ministering regularly to inmates through Bible studies, the substance abuse and recovery program, and the Fatherhood Engagement Program. Two years later, she was voted Volunteer of the Year, an honor which usually went to people who’d been involved for many, many years. All the guards knew her. She couldn’t get enough of being there. It was so clearly something to which God had called her.
Tomi got involved in other related faith-based ministries. For instance, she worked with Faith-Based Mentoring Ministries, which focused on men who were incarcerated. She worked with the Sheriff’s Chaplaincy Conference, which deals with sheriff’s chaplains in surrounding states. She has also worked with various other groups which minister to struggling populations, including Rising Stars of Associated Churches, the Strengthening Families Program, the Fort Wayne Fatherhood Coalition, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Around 2007, God gave Tomi a vision for running a women’s transition home. She really wanted to do that. Nothing materialized, but the idea wouldn’t go away.
Then, in 2012, Tomi was invited to consult with Wings of Hope, the predecessor to Redemption House. The founding director had stepped down from the ministry, and they were struggling to find new footing. When the interim director resigned, the board offered Tomi the job.