By William R. Kreeb
President/CEO, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House
EAST ST. LOUIS -- The Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House Continuum of Life Homeless Outreach Center needs your support to win a grant from the Monsanto Grow St. Louis program in 2014.
You can vote for Homeless Services in East St. Louis at www.facebook.com/growstlouis from July 21 to Aug. 3. Each winner will receive a $20,000 grant. Each email address can vote once per day throughout the entire period of 14 days.
During the brutal cold of last winter, the Continuum of Life building was open for the homeless and those who didn't have heat in their homes. Roland Wilson said he came to the facility as soon as the doors opened and he is glad he did. "It makes me feel good to know that there are people out here who care about me and others like me who need a helping hand. We eat three times a day and are kept warm," he said.
The Center is open on the coldest and hottest days of the year and in-between offers vital services to those who need a helping hand.
In the application for Grow St. Louis award, Vera Jones, Neighborhood House vice president of marketing and development noted, "The St. Louis area is a compassionate community which cares for citizens from all walks of life. Funds from Grow St. Louis would give Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House the opportunity to continue to provide and expand vital services to the homeless, our most vulnerable population.
"The wrap-around services provided by LBDNH address not only immediate survival needs for this population, but also help individuals and families move forward to self-sufficiency. At the Continuum of Life Center, persons can find meals and clothing. They can take showers and wash clothes. Case managers and volunteers meet with them to assess needs and provide additional services, including access to medical care. In addition, during dangerously severe hot or cold weather, the Center becomes a 24-hour shelter, where clients can spend their nights safely."