Another long day is coming to a close, the sun is setting, and soon you will find comfort in the safety of your home.You will enjoy a warm nutritious meal alone, or perhaps with loved ones. Later, you will wash away your troubles in a hot shower and will emerge feeling refreshed and new. The day will end as you rest your weary head on a soft pillow and you fall fast asleep.
Sadly, there are many who are alone, trying to survive at night on these Louisiana streets with no food except what can be salvaged from trashcans. There is no place for them to find rest and relaxation, or to even get cleaned. They endure harsh, judgmental looks, or worse, looks of fright. Some people pass them by without even being aware of their presence, leaving these men feeling dehumanized and unworthy.
These men are as young as eighteen, and shockingly, as old as eighty. They are veterans, sons, fathers, grandfathers. They are neighbors, friends, and loved ones.Unfortunately, they have severed the lines of communication with those they were once close to and are completely separated from their families. These men are in dire need of help. They are at a critical point.
Fortunately, there is a place that some of these men can go to for help and assistance in becoming self-sufficient. The place is the Opelousas Lighthouse Mission. While the Mission can comfortably sleep only twenty-three men at a time, no one is turned away. Here the men receive clothing, food, a place to sleep, a means of cleaning up, counseling, personal development classes, job referrals and employment assistance. They are given training in budgeting and money management, job interview skills, resume writing, personal hygiene, and public appropriateness, all of which are vital to breaking the cycle of homelessness.
At this time of year we need your help. Many of our financial resources are exhausted, yet the need for services seems to increase. You can help us continue to help homeless men by your financial support.
I invite you to visit the Mission and to see what is happening here. The Board of Directors and I have been working to improve the building as well as the program.