2017-12-10 / Insight

The Refuge: making a difference in county for 15 years

BY JEFF HOGAN
810-452-2640 • jhogan@mihomepaper.com

LAPEER — Lapeer County’s homeless can find temporary emergency housing through The Refuge designed to assist individuals and families who are ready, willing and able to transition out of homelessness.

In 2000, Kendra Petty, MaryAnn Nutt and Father Steve Dewey of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in downtown Lapeer had a meeting at a local fast-food restaurant to discuss how to provide shelter for the homeless in Lapeer. A steering committee was established and The Refuge opened the fall of 2002 and has been serving the community ever since.

The Refuge partners with local churches to give shelter and food to more than 50 people a year. The Refuge also provides miscellaneous items such as boots, socks, bedding and pillows. It also provides other services to guide people to get them back on their feet.

To schedule an intake, people seeking assistance from The Refuge must call 810-356-9880.

The Refuge is a non-profit faith based ministry operated by a board of directors and run by volunteers from area churches and individuals throughout the county. The Refuge program is structured, emphasizing support and accountability. The rules that are in place encourage a safe and healthy environ- ment for all residents. In addition, the program requires abstinence from drugs and alcohol. The Refuge works with various agencies within the community to provide accurate and appropriate resources for residents. Communication with other agencies not only assists its current residents, but allows for proper referrals for individuals wishing to enter into the program. The program depends on volunteers. They assist in various ways such as meal preparation, supervision and mentor-ship.

Area residents who would like to give to the homeless this holiday season may go on-line to www.therefugelapeer.org or make checks out to The Refuge and mail to: PO Box 1435 Lapeer, MI 48446.

Needs list for homeless

• Men’s T-shirts sizes L-XXL

• Bus tokens from GLTA at 230 S. Monroe St.; 810- 664-4566

• Gloves (thick gloves)

• Backpacks

• Gift certificates or money donations for new boots and/ or work shoes

• Hair cut dollars from Beautiful U Salon at 232 W. Nepessing St.; 810-664-6021

• Walmart gift cards for coats, boots and work clothes

• Small first aid kits

• Paper towels

• Paper coffee cups

• Hot cocoa

• Water bottles

• Expandable file folders for guests

• Day planners

• Emergency blankets and tents (tube tents)

• Phone cards

Drop off donations from this list Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Leave items at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church at 431 N. Court St. in downtown Lapeer. Leave items at bottom of elevator outside the door.

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