BY REBECCA LINDLEY
It’s not a new concept for Northview Church—when the community is in need, Northview simply responds. One Northview Greater Lafayette family, the Powells, found themselves called to serve the needs of those at the Lafayette Transitional Housing Center (LTHC) in Lafayette, Indiana.
“The Lafayette Transitional Housing Center is a great program that helps people rebuild their lives by providing the basic things in life—housing, clothing, food, utilities, and even helps their clients with employment,” said Greater Lafayette attendee Todd Powell. Powell and his two children, Addie, 11, and Evan, 9, have been serving the clients of LTHC through the Food Pantry for more than six years.
“It’s become a part of our weekly routine. Every Wednesday night, the kids and I serve by working at the LTHC Food Pantry,” Powell said. The Powell’s stock the pantry shelves, organize donations, register clients, and help bag groceries. “It’s amazing the changes that I’ve seen in my kids with this opportunity to serve.“ Powell said. “They are much more grounded and appreciate what we have,” he added.
Even though the Powells were volunteering as a family, Powell still felt like he could do more. He encouraged his Life Group to get involved and they are now serving meals together at the Food Pantry on the third Wednesday of each month. “Serving our community together as a Life Group has really brought us all much closer,” Powell said. “It’s such a rewarding experience,” he added. Volunteers purchase, prepare, and serve the food to those in need. “Then we visit with the community and clean up together,” Powell said. Recently, the volunteers served more than 130 ham and cheese sandwiches in half an hour.
Although the LTHC serves the community in many different ways, the Food Pantry is in particular need of volunteers. The LTHC is one of very few food pantries in Tippecanoe County, as well as one that serves a weekly meal to the entire community. And the need has grown. “When we first started, we would serve a meal to roughly 15 people,” Powell said. “Now we average between 80 and 100 people each week, and the clients are so appreciative of what we do for them,” he added.
There are many needs that can be met while serving at the LTHC Food Pantry. If preparing and serving food is intimidating, volunteers are also needed to organize clothing, unload food trucks, stock pantry shelves, and other general housekeeping activities. “My favorite part of serving at the LTHC is knowing that we are making a real difference,” Powell said. “And, my kids are proud of themselves for making a difference, too. It gives them a sense of pride knowing that even at their age they can make a positive impact in the lives of others who are less fortunate,” he added.
If you are looking for a way for your family, friends, co-workers, or Life Group to give back to the community, the LTHC has several opportunities including:
The LTHC serves its program clients three meals a day. We are looking for people who are willing to prepare and serve meals. You are invited to bring a meal that will serve 15 to 20 people (fresh or frozen), stay for an hour or two to help serve and clean up the meal.
Food Pantry Assistance
The LTHC Food Pantry is the largest in the county and serves all Tippecanoe County residents in need of food. Northview Church helps manage the pantry for LTHC. Volunteers serve a two-hour shift once per week, bi-weekly, or once per month. They help stock shelves, organize donations, bag groceries and process paperwork.
The LTHC opens its doors for anyone in the community in need of a good meal. They plan meals, purchase the ingredients, serve, clean up afterwards and spend time visiting with clients in need.
About Lafayette Transitional Housing Center
The Lafayette Transitional Housing Center is a non-profit organization which began in 1989 to develop housing, offer supportive services, and other opportunities to foster self-sufficiency for the homeless, particularly families with children in the community. LTHC is comprised of four separate programs: The Homeless Services Program, Family Program, Singles Program and the Lincoln Center Supportive Housing Program. The goal of all of the programs is to help the homeless learn the needed skills, so they may be able to maintain employment and housing.
For more information or to sign up to volunteer, contact Northview’s Greater Lafayette Outreach Coordinator Bill Wolfe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-513-7070.by Read More