By Lisa Graves
Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House
EAST ST. LOUIS -- James 1:17 states: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
As a United Methodist Community Center, and Golden Cross ministry, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House strives to bring God’s Love to all people. We believe God has truly hidden Himself within the many faces of individuals and families seeking help. There are thousands of children and families in our community, who are suffering tremendous hardships, who often have no one to turn to, and have given up hope. As a Mission of the United Methodist Church, the Neighborhood House believes that “in God’s Name all things are possible.”
Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House is excited to welcome our new President/CEO, Christopher Coleman. Coleman is a man of faith who believes in working with community partners to transform lives and create processes that will exceed the needs and desires of our citizens. Our prayers each day, will be to effectively share God’s love through service to all in need. "By communicating with God, prayers are answered and it provides a greater peace and joy. Jesus said, "I came that they might have life, and have it more abundantly." As Lessie Bates continue to serve those in need, we recognize not all problems will be eliminated, but as faithful servants, we can provide the Ministry to support individuals and families understand the power of God’s Love”, Coleman stated.
Lessie Bates continues to serve the community with a host of programs. The identified programs are critical services necessary to empower and support individuals and families to become self-sufficient and move out of poverty.
Child Care and Pre-Kindergarten Program: Neighborhood House provides day care services to children 6 weeks to 5 years of age. Children are cared for in a warm, safe and nurturing environment. Teachers work with the children to improve their cognitive, social and physical abilities. In order to be eligible for services, parents must be working or in school. The program is designed to serve children who are at-risk of abuse or neglect. In addition, the Child Care Program also provides Pre-Kindergarten classes.
Providing A Sure Start (PASS) is an early intervention/prevention program designed to significantly better prepare children and prepare parents to assist their children in assuring “A Sure Start” and a successful school experience. The program provides Parent Training, Child Development and Life Skills Classes in conjunction with comprehensive Case Coordination to children birth to 3 years of age and their parents.
The goal of the Healthy Families Program is to promote positive parent-child interaction; promote healthy childhood growth and development; and to enhance family functioning by building trusting relationships, teaching problem solving skills and improving the family’s support system.
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program provides volunteer opportunities for retired persons in the community. Through this program retired volunteers can make a difference in their own community through volunteering with community action groups, at local day cares or other community sites.
AmeriCorps supports opportunities for volunteers to provide intensive services to the East St. Louis community. The AmeriCorps program provides tutoring in schools throughout the area, after-school programs and within the food pantry. The volunteers work in more than 50 different sites and serve more than 2,500 children and youth, as well as more than 1,000 in the food pantry each month.
The After School Program provides a variety of recreation/education and social development activities for children and youth in the community. Activities include arts and crafts, sports, tutoring and homework assistance, leadership training, field trips, conflict resolution and cultural arts. Over 300 children and youth participate annually in the summer and after-school activities, which are provided at four sites in the community
TANF Job Placement Program: Neighborhood House provides Job Readiness, Job Placement and Job Retention Services for TANF (Individuals receiving Government assistance) parents.
JTED-EPIC stands for Employment Opportunities, Personalized Services, Individualized Training and Career Planning. Individuals benefit from personal career development and accelerated training plans to meet their specific needs; job skill trainings and credentials in high-demand fields; work-based learning opportunities with local employers; and ongoing team counseling that can lead to jobs.? This Employment and Training Program will assist underemployed and unemployed SNAP recipients. This program is part of a national study that includes an evaluation process to create strategies to implement with the existing SNAP education and training program.
Meals On Wheel provides Seniors an opportunity to remain in their own homes and needing to relocate to a nursing facility. The nutritious meal, friendly visit and safety check help them cope with three of the biggest threats of aging: hunger, isolation and loss of independence. Research proves that when seniors have the right support, they gain greater quality of life, need fewer hospital stays and live longer.
On behalf of the CEO, Board, Volunteers and Staff, we want to thank the United Methodist Church for the unwavering support for more than 107 years. Please continue to support and pray for the agency, as we continue to change lives. The bible tells us that with only the faith of a mustard seed, we can move a mountain. So imagine how many mountains can be moved when you put all our little mustards seeds together!