Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment’
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 email@example.com or 317-513-7070.
by Brooke Reynolds
Based on current national unemployment statistics, there could be 150-200 people attending Northview who are unemployed. But that doesn’t surprise Ed Hart, President of Safeway Moving Systems and Carmel Campus Northview Church attendee.
“I feel it is very important that we as a church try to do everything in our power to help these families,” Hart said.
That’s why Hart, along with other business owners and hiring managers, utilized Christian Employment Outreach (CEO) to acquire one of his employees. Because he typically receives an overwhelming number of resumes for an advertised job opening, he liked consulting the CEO candidate pool for someone who came highly recommended for the job.
CEO is a nonprofit networking and support organization that is designed to reach out to those in career transition to assist in their job search. According to a CEO brochure, it’s a Christian forum for motivation, education, networking and resources. This ministry organization is significant for employers who are seeking new-hires because CEO participants, who are potential employees, uphold Christian principles and other commendable qualities.
Gary McKay, director and facilitator of CEO, said Hart contacted him on a Wednesday with a need for an assistant in their accounting department. McKay announced the job opening at the CEO Thursday morning meeting. McKay recommended a qualified CEO participant who interviewed and was hired the next day.
“We have a system set up to protect the employers who are interested in hiring someone from our group,” McKay said. “I become a ‘clearinghouse’ of sorts, who recommends specific CEO participants who fit the qualifications of a particular job – rather than just posting a job opening for all group members to apply for.”
“I will use CEO again to hire future employees because a recommendation coming from Gary is a valuable one,” Hart said. “He knows the CEO participants on a personal level, whereas I’d only know the job candidates in a formal interview setting. Having a personal reference from CEO is a big deal.”
Northview Church member Wesley Watson has attended CEO meetings since March and said he appreciates knowing that everyone who participates truly wants others in the group to succeed in retaining employment.
“Every week at CEO, there is opportunities to build stronger networking connections to apply toward your job search,” Watson said.
Participants and guests share that camaraderie and support because CEO meets often – that is, every Thursday morning from 7:30 to 9 a.m. The program facilitators encourage attendees to wear business attire to the meetings because they believe it’s important that people in transition get up early at least once per week, put on their business best and make it to a scheduled meeting on time.
McKay and his three-person team lead the meetings with prayer, motivation, instruction in job-searching skills and networking opportunities. Participants also get a chance to market themselves to the group with a “30-second infomercial,” which promotes their skills and builds their confidence every week.
“The benefits of CEO are the small group coaching and constructive feedback on how to sharpen and present your own effective ’30 second infomercial,’” Watson said. “With Gary McKay and the group’s help, I have improved on how I present myself in a more concise manner, giving the employer a clear picture on what I have done, what I can do for them and how I can add value to their bottom line.”
Everyone is welcome to attend the meetings, which are free of charge. According to the CEO brochure, this is an organization that sees every person as a potential networking resource. Since the ministry started in 2001, McKay said about 5,000 people have participated in the group. About 12-20 currently attend the meetings each week.
“We don’t consider ourselves a support group for unemployed professionals,” McKay said. “Instead, we focus on training and equipping people to find and retain jobs. We don’t allow self-pity and anger at our meetings; we keep it positive.”
“Employers who attend Northview are missing highly skilled, displaced career seekers who can meet their needs,” Watson said. “Northview attendees are spending job-posting dollars only to find what already exists for free in the resource pool of CEO.”
Meetings are held every Thursday from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Indiana Wesleyan University at 3777 Priority Way South Drive in Indianapolis.