By: Guest blogger, Jacob Archambault
One of the great strengths of humans is our resilience. To come up against hard times or unforeseen circumstances and work back to where we were before is something to be admired and emulated. Many of us may have had to rely on the help of others to get through these times, so we didn’t weather the storm alone. I think we all can think of difficult seasons in our lives, and hopefully we can look back and see that it made us stronger having made it through.
One organization in our community that works to enable those who are currently in a difficult season of life is the Lighthouse.
The Lighthouse is not an emergency shelter, but rather a transitional housing organization, providing programs and classes for those receiving their services to help them succeed. The Lighthouse does a lot for its clients and for the community by working to strengthen the physical, emotional, and spiritual lives of its clients and prepare people for self-sufficiency. A few of the many holistic programs the Lighthouse offers include: interview training, budget making, community gardening, resume building, and volunteering at other local nonprofit organizations.
Since its nonprofit incorporation in 1998, the Lighthouse has enabled over 600 people to gain self-sufficiency in Whitley County. Unfortunately, the Lighthouse has suffered a difficult season of its own, as governmental budget cuts nearly halved the funding for the Lighthouse in 2016. The Lighthouse is fighting on though in its mission “to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of homeless individuals and families in the Whitley County area.”
As a social work major at Manchester University, I focus on how different social systems affect each other, which is why it’s been valuable to intern at the EDC and help serve the Lighthouse and its clients. Without the evidence-based programming the Lighthouse offers, individuals and families may not receive assistance in finding job opportunities and becoming self-sufficient. Without the EDC’s efforts in attracting new businesses, and its focus on business retention, expansion, and growth, the community would not be as vibrant. Continuing to support organizations like both of these has a positive effect on our local economy and the future of our community, its quality of life, and the individual lives of Whitley County residents.