HOMELESS SHELTER PROGRAM
As we work our way deep into the season of cold and snow, the comforts of a warm, safe, dry home is something we can be grateful for. However, life’s downturns and changes can sometimes land you in unexpected places. Lazarus House in St. Charles is a not-for-profit homeless shelter program that has a mission to take care of the members of our community that find themselves in need.
“Homelessness is a season, not an identity,” says Leanne Deister-Goodwin, Executive Director of Lazarus House. The organization works to get their guests back on their feet and give them hope for the future by providing hospitality, food, safe shelter and education. “Lazarus house is based in love and grace,” says Leanne. “We find it a privilege to come alongside our neighbors in crisis without shame or judgment.” She explains that connection fuels healing and with their staff and volunteer help, they can work on removing barriers that their guests encounter. Besides shelter and food, assistance in building up skills and finding employment is a strong focus in the program. Each guest has coaches to help them with their specific needs and challenges.
Since its inception in 1997, Lazarus House has served 6,252 community members and just in the last year, has provided 20,434 nights of service and over 61,000 nutritious meals.
Community members can assist the organization by volunteering, as they rely on volunteers 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. Volunteer opportunities can be anything from overnight assistance, daytime shelter help, and childcare on-site. You can also follow their webpage and fulfill many of their needed items, a list that is updated weekly.
Additionally, Lazarus House is having their “Unmasking the Face of Homelessness” annual gala and benefit event on Saturday, January 25th at the Q center with dinner, live auction, entertainment and dancing. Come be a HERO and help support their mission.
For more information on the gala or volunteer opportunities, visit www.lazarushouse.net .
Mindy’s January Giving Inspiration: Become someone’s mentor. There will always be someone younger or less experienced than you that could benefit from your knowledge.
ABOUT THE WRITER Mindy Kyle is the owner of Be Inspired Studios and is passionate about helping people discover what brings them joy and to live a full, healthy and happy life. She has her Masters in Fine Arts degree in creative writing from DePaul University and lives in Naperville with her husband, three children and the cutest dog in the land.
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