In The New: Light House B.E.S.T. Graduation Featured in Capital Gazette

Light House Celebrates Training Graduation

Mayor Gavin Buckley was the keynote speaker at The Light House Homeless Prevention Support Center’s graduation for their 19th Class of Building Employment Success Training (B.E.S.T.) students. The B.E.S.T. program is a 16-week job-training program for people impacted by homelessness and poverty that provides hands-on training in Culinary Arts or Facilities Maintenance and Landscaping. With this 19th class, The Light House has graduated a total of 309 students since it began in 2011. 100 percent of these graduates have passed their rigorous exit exams, qualifying them for gainful employment in Anne Arundel County and beyond.

During the ceremony, each student gave a moving speech about their personal journey, what they learned during their time in the program, and their hopes and plans for the future. The May 24th event at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis brought together Light House volunteers, donors, important city and county officials, and friends and family of the graduates. The sanctuary was filled with attendees eager to celebrate the positive path these graduates are now on, and their determination to overcome their barriers.

The Light House Reflects on the Capital Gazette Tragedy

Dear Light House Community,

We are deeply saddened by the tragic event at The Capital newspaper office yesterday where five lives were taken: Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith, and Wendi Winters. Our hearts go out to all the families and to our entire community which is shaken by this loss.

The Capital Gazette team works tirelessly to report on stories and issues that impact our organization and community. We honor those we have lost and the entire Capital Gazette team for their service to our community through true journalistic integrity.

Our staff, clients, and supporters would like to take a moment to remember Wendi Winters for her years of dedication to our organization. For many years, Wendi had been a caring and compassionate member of our Light House family. We are forever grateful for her volunteer work serving meals in our kitchen, and her heartfelt efforts and determination to tell the stories of those struggling with homelessness and poverty. She was also a frequent diner at our Light House Bistro.

Her many “Home of the Week” articles that featured Light House residents ( were a window into the issues and people we serve every day. Her enthusiasm, generosity of spirit, and genuine kindness in her reporting of these stories will not be forgotten. The Light House cares for individuals and families when they are at their most vulnerable, and Wendi understood and respected this. She brought professionalism and an open heart to every interview. She cared deeply that our residents were shown as the valuable, beautiful, and complex individuals they are. We honor her today, and hope that her light will continue to shine through us.

As we grieve, our entire Light House community holds the family, friends, and loved ones of those lost in this tragedy in our hearts.

With love,
The Light House Family

Client Quote: Tim

“The B.E.S.T. Program was the next step I took after going through treatment. I was determined to do something new and positive. At The Light House I was able to learn, grow, and start on a new path. Now I can build a better life for myself. Thank you to everyone who believed in me and encouraged me when I needed it most.” – Tim, Graduate of The Light House B.E.S.T. Culinary Program

In The News: Light House celebrates having graduated 300 employment training students

Mayor Gavin Buckley was the keynote speaker at The Light House Homeless Prevention Support Center’s graduation for their 19th Class of Building Employment Success Training (B.E.S.T.) students.

Light House Employment Training Program Awarded $5,000 State Farm Grant

The Light House is pleased to announce a grant award of $5,000 from State Farm for their Building Employment Success Training (B.E.S.T.) Program, an entry-level workforce development program for people impacted by homelessness and poverty. To kick off this new partnership, State Farm representatives visited The Light House to meet with Light House staff, toured the facilities, and learned about the programs and services provided by the organization. During their visit, State Farm Agent, Debbie Hart, also dropped off 20 bags of pantry items that had been collected during their recent State Farm food drive, stating that “State Farm is here to help things go right and whatever I can do to further that mission, especially in my community, is my pleasure.”

The Light House is deeply grateful for State Farm’s significant investment in the B.E.S.T. Program and looks forward to building a lasting partnership. The B.E.S.T. Program provides rigorous job-focused, hands-on learning modules that include paid in-house training in Culinary Arts or Facilities Maintenance. Case management, addictions counseling, and social service support are also provided during the 16-week comprehensive skills training program.

The B.E.S.T. Program has trained over 300 people since 2012, with 100 percent of graduates having passed their rigorous exit exams, qualifying them for gainful employment in Anne Arundel County and beyond. The Light House provides emergency shelter, food, clothing, case management and other vital homelessness prevention and support services to over 2,000 community members in need each year. This important work is only possible thanks to the generosity of their community and companies like State Farm.

Photo: (L-R) State Farm Public Affairs Field Specialist – DC Metro, Delaware, Maryland, Dwayne Redd, Light House Director of Development, Jenny Crawford, Light House Culinary Assistant and Former B.E.S.T. Culinary Graduate, Liz Fleury, State Farm Agent, Debbie Hart, LTCP, RICP, State Farm Sales Leader for the Annapolis Sales Territory, Tawana Mensah, and Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Arts Training, Linda Vogler

In The News: Light House Voted Capital Gazette Best Local Nonprofit

THANK YOU to our incredible community for voting for The Light House! We are truly honored and grateful to everyone who supports us and joins us in our mission to break the cycle of homelessness. Each year, The Light House provides emergency shelter, food, clothing, case management, and many other vital homelessness prevention and support services to over 2,000 community members in need. We could not do all this without the incredible support from our volunteers, donors, and community partners.

Client Spotlight: Rick

Thanks to The Light House, I look forward to waking up each morning and being an active part of the community.

From an early age, Rick lived in an abusive home. When he was a teenager his mother was killed and his life began down an even darker path. “I lost all hope. For the next 40 years, my life was nothing. I didn’t care about anybody or anything.”

Rick struggled through addiction, incarceration, and homelessness most of his life. After being hospitalized for a near fatal case of pneumonia, he decided it was time to make a positive change. “I moved into The Light House and started the Culinary Program, people were encouraging…for the first time in my life I started to feel better about myself.”

The Light House provided Rick with food, clothing, and a safe space to live. His client advocate helped him address the underlying issues preventing him from living a healthy, stable, and meaningful life. He was connected with health care, employment training, sustainable housing, and was hired as Flatbread Chef at the Light House Bistro social enterprise. His client advocate even helped him sign up for community college classes to become an addictions counselor, so that he can give back to his community.

Stories like Rick’s are a testament to how The Light House changes lives and strengthens our community by providing the help needed – with dignity – to those most in need.

Volunteer Spotlight: Students from The Temple Annapolis Donate Haircuts

Students from The Temple Annapolis: A Paul Mitchell Partner School gave free haircuts to our residents here at The Light House! This fantastic group of stylists gave haircuts to 14 of our residents during their visit, and plan on coming back four more times this year. We so appreciate these stylists for donating their time and talent to help others. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of our Light House family!

In The News: Capital Gazette Home of The Week – Codye

The young mother and her 3-year old son unpacked their belongings Jan. 10 at The Light House on Hudson Street in Annapolis. Though hard-working, she was out of a job, out of money, out of luck – and had nowhere to go.

Thank You: Annapolis Quilt Guild

When there’s love in the home, there’s joy in the heart. The Annapolis Quilt Guild donated another batch of beautiful quilts to The Light House. These quilts bring joy and warmth to our residents, and create a space of belonging during their journey towards a brighter future. A big thank you to Annapolis Quilt Guild for this donation and for their many years of heartfelt support!