By LINDA HOFFMAN
“Elderly woman found dead In her apartment, local police report there was no heat or food in the home.”
“Man found dead in his car: Police say the man was homeless and sought shelter in his car in the sub-zero weather.”
“Local restaurant owner reports finding children looking through his Dumpster for food. The children, on Christmas break, had not had a full meal since their last day of school.”
How would you feel if you opened the Pharos-Tribune and saw this kind of headline on the front page? How would this kind of news look to prospective new businesses thinking of moving to Logansport?
Hopefully we will never see headlines like this in Logansport, but we do have many people in Cass County who could be in these situations. Many are homeless or living in homes without adequate heat, and there are children going to bed hungry.
Emmaus Mission Center is doing its best to combat these problems. The mission has a food pantry with more than 2,000 clients coming in each month for food assistance. Our homeless shelter normally sleeps 48. Last winter we had to get special permission from the city to set up extra beds to accommodate the 65 people seeking shelter and warmth.
We also provide a thrift store where our clients can receive clothing and other needed items, a Hispanic translating service and we are the parent organization for the Morningstar Girls Home. The home is an Indiana licensed residential childcare facility in operation for more than 10 years that offers a safe haven for troubled girls and teens.
Emmaus can’t do all this alone. We need the help of the whole community, all of Cass County, to keep our doors open and to continue to offer these much-needed services.
The November newsletter is in the mail, and I am sending over 300 letters to Cass County businesses asking for assistance, with my family covering the postage expense as our donation.
Please read your letter when it arrives and do your part in helping Emmaus keep its doors open. We are in constant need of monetary and food donations. People are hungry and homeless 365 days of the year, not just at major holidays.
The mission has very few paid staff and their pay is the lowest on the social service pay scale, yet in the last month several of our staff have gone without paychecks. They will be embarrassed that I’ve put this news in my article, but I feel the need to report it. These people go way beyond their job titles in helping our clients, and right now we can’t afford to pay them. I ask that you give now, as you are able, and that you put us in your budget for regular donations.
We have no large corporate sponsors and the only government funding comes through grants, though most of the grants are for structural renovations and improvements and cannot be used for “day-to-day” operations.
We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas, and we pray that with your help we can do the same for our clients.
Linda Hoffman is an Emmaus Mission Center Board member and volunteer.
By LINDA HOFFMAN
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