The Beacon of Hope Men's Shelter is a result of a burden on one man's heart that has spread to many others. A letter from Steve Roe reads:
"Each day, caring friends like you help change the lives of the hungry, homeless and addicted in Fort Dodge and surrounding areas from the inside out. Every time you pray for, volunteer at or donate to Beacon of Hope Shelter, you give the hungry food and the homeless shelter. You bless the mentally and physically ill with compassionate care. You help those who are addicted, abused and abandoned find hope and healing.
"The Beacon of Hope Shelter reaches out with love to those on the fringes of society, those who have nowhere else to turn, those whom others have forgotten. We not only care for the immediate physical needs of the homeless, we help them overcome the challenges that led to their plight so they can learn to stand on their own again, as productive and contributing members of our community.
"We couldn't do any of this without the help of people like you. Your support allows us to stretch our arms around the homeless and poor men, in Webster and surrounding counties, offering free meals, safe shelter and long-term recovery programs. Thanks for your interest in our outreach and for working alongside us to care for homeless and hurting men. With your help - and with God's power and guidance - we can fight poverty from the inside out."
"Carry each other's burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
Today begins Homeless Awareness Week in Fort Dodge. Beacon of Hope Shelter has a vision to bring awareness within the community of the great need to help our fellow man and the outreach needed within our community.
Did you know:
A recent study reported 23,808 homeless people in Iowa, an increase of 38 percent in just one year. There are another 15,351 at risk of becoming homeless.
Webster County was found to have more than 500 homeless people.
The best estimates we have obtained from local agencies show there are approximately 100 homeless men in the Fort Dodge area at this time.
Our goal is to open our doors this fall before the cold weather returns. Some of the things we've been doing to get our building ready include installing panic bar security doors, a fire escape and sprinkler system, installing a shower/laundry area, replacement windows and new flooring, and much cleaning and painting. We are grateful to all the groups and individuals who have donated their time, materials and expertise to our project.
Right now, in accordance with our vision, we are serving Saturday evening meals to anyone from the community who would like to join us. Beacon of Hope will be serving every Saturday except the last Saturday of the month, at 5 p.m. at the shelter, 1021 First Ave. N. If your group would like to help host/serve a Saturday meal please call the shelter at 955-3366.
Brother, can you spare a dime?
Homeless Awareness Week will feature a citywide canvassing campaign to collect spare change. Volunteers will wear official Beacon of Hope Buttons as they carry coffee cans door-to-door asking for donations. Harkening to the Depression era March of Dimes campaign, we hope to raise money and awareness as we promote the shelter.
Oleson Park Bandshell concert is today
Please join us at the bandshell from 4 to 8 p.m. for a freewill donation concert. Local area talent featuring Jive for Five, Ecclesiastes, New Covenant Praise Band, Ace and Friends, Steve Roe, SonShine Singers ensemble and Trinity Singers ensemble will be performing throughout the afternoon/early evening.
We will have refreshments for sale as well as Beacon of Hope T-shirts.
Family Fun Carnival is
Bring the family for a day at Snell-Crawford Park from 2 to 6 p.m. Aug. 28. There will be games, contests, food and activities for the entire family.
Tour the Beacon Tuesday
Anyone wishing to tour the Beacon of Hope may do so on Tuesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. We are located at 1021 First Ave. N. (former Masonic Temple building). Please come see our progress!
Help us win $250,000 from Pepsi
Winners of the Pepsi grants are determined by public voting. Please go to www.refresheverything.com to register. You may (and should) vote once per day from every e-mail account you have. Find us by narrowing your search to projects "near you" under the $250,000 tab or by searching for "Beacon of Hope." You may also TEXT the number 101907 once daily to Pepsi (73774). Pass it on.
It is easy to help
There are so many ways for groups and individuals to help support our project. Right now we need volunteers to help paint, move things as the need arises, help to serve Saturday suppers, to pledge $20 or more per month to the shelter, and to donate food, clothing, and toiletry items, or perhaps your group would like to take advantage of this "Window of Opportunity" to help us install a replacement window at a cost of $420. If you have a talent to contribute please call us.
We will soon be in need of a staff of volunteers to work at the shelter. There are various volunteer positions available. If you would like more information, please contact us at 955-3366.
A very easy thing that everyone can do to help us get open sooner is to spread the word about our goals and to encourage people to vote for us for the Pepsi grant.
We also ask you all to keep us in your prayers. Prayer is so powerful and with this many people thinking good thoughts toward us we are destined to succeed.
To join our task force newsletter e-mail list visit us at www.beaconofhopeshelter.com. You will find more information about us on the web site, and if you would like to speak to someone from the shelter please call us at 955-3366.
Laura Franks is a member of the Beacon of Hope Men's Shelter board of directors.