In The News! Capital Gazette Features Light House B.E.S.T. Program

A Capital Gazette feature story highlighted our Light House B.E.S.T. Employment Training Program, which provides job training and opportunities for individuals struggling with employment barriers. Our B.E.S.T program empowers graduates with the skills they need to support themselves and their families, and has graduated over 350 students since it began in 2012!

Light House Awarded a $50,000 Chaney Impact Fund Grant

(L-R) Vice Chair of The Chaney Foundation, Rebekah “R.G.” Lare, Light House Director of Development, Jenny Crawford, and Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County Manager, Grants & Scholarships, Kristen Krall

The Light House is excited to announce that it has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Chaney Impact Fund a Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County (CFAAC). This grant will support the cost of an on-site clinical staff member who will manage behavioral health and substance abuse diagnosis, treatment, and referral for Light House clients. This new clinical staff position will enable Light House programs to reduce the harms associated with substance abuse and mental health issues for people impacted by homelessness or poverty.

To celebrate this grant award, representatives from the Chaney Impact Fund and CFAAC visited The Light House to take a tour of the facility and present Light House Director of Development, Jenny Crawford, with the grant check. “The need for this clinical staff position is great,” stated Crawford. “Approximately 60% of our Light House clients have a diagnosed substance use disorder and an estimated 80% have an undiagnosed mental health disorder. CFAAC’s most recent community needs assessment Poverty Amidst Plenty VI: On the Road to Progress For All, recently documented a 70% rise in behavioral health issues in our county since 2012. In-house clinical support will help our clients tackle the mental health and substance abuse issues that prevent them from moving out of crisis to stabilization and eventually to self-sufficiency. We are truly grateful to the Chaney Impact Fund for enabling us to meet this growing need.”

About Chaney Impact Fund grants: Chaney Impact Fund grants support the work of nonprofit organizations serving Anne Arundel and Calvert counties in Maryland whose focus is on cancer services, or behavioral health and substance abuse treatment. The vision for the Chaney Impact Fund is to “make the greatest sustainable impact we can in the communities in which we raise our families.” The mission of the Fund is to “nourish our community by supporting our youth as the foundation for building healthier neighborhoods, today and in the future.”

Congratulations to our Fall 2019 B.E.S.T. Class!

Our Fall 2019 Class of Building Employment Success Training (B.E.S.T.) students graduated after months of hard work and training! These students have inspired us with their determination, teamwork, and passion for learning. We are so proud of their accomplishments and look forward to watching them continue to shine!

A special thank you to First Presbyterian Church of Annapolis for providing a beautiful venue and to Delegate Alice Cain for joining us in celebrating this fantastic group of students. We are continually grateful for all those who volunteer and donate to The Light House. Together we are rebuilding lives!

Light House Executive Director Speaks at Food and Nutrition Services 50th Anniversary Celebration

Thank you to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services for inviting our Light House Executive Director, Jo Ann Mattson to speak at their 50th Anniversary Celebration! Watch Jo Ann’s speech to learn about the important work we are accomplishing together!

The Light House introduces their new Client Choice Pantry with a Free Community Market event

A food insecure family picking out fresh produce at The Light House

On Monday, June 17th from 12pm-2pm, The Light House Homeless Prevention Support Center will be holding a Free Community Market event at their 10 Hudson Street, Annapolis location. Supported by volunteers and donors, along with an 8,000-pound donation of perishable and non-perishable foods from the Maryland Food Bank, this event will provide much needed food and other household items to our neighbors struggling to meet their basic needs. The event is open to the public and free to anyone in our community in need. It is first come, first serve, and The Light House asks that visitors be sure to bring their own bags or boxes to carry the food and household items.

Recent data from the United Way of Central Maryland, and the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County reported that one third of our neighbors can’t afford adequate food, rent, or healthcare, and that over 74,000 of our county residents struggle to access fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Through hot meals, bagged lunches, and a newly revitalized Client Choice Pantry, The Light House’s 10 Hudson Street location provides healthy food to individuals and families struggling with food insecurity.

The spaces used for The Light House’s food programs recently underwent a much-needed renovation, which has allowed them to restructure their pantry program to operate as a new Client Choice system. This Client Choice pantry allows a variety of new food options including meat and dairy and broader inventory. With the guidance of their dedicated and trained volunteers, visitors to the pantry are now selecting their own food items. This new system not only provides the dignity of choice to those struggling with hunger and food insecurity, but also allows for a basic nutritional education component to this process.

In addition to providing fresh healthy food, the Free Community Market event on Monday, June 17th aims to introduce community members in need to the new Client Choice pantry, and to provide information about the many other vital homelessness prevention and support services offered by the organization.

The Light House would like to give a special thank you to the Maryland Food Bank, and their other volunteers and donors for making this event possible!

Posted on Wed, June 12, 2019 by The Light House

The Light House Guiding SNAP Participants to Self-Sufficiency

Recently, I was privileged to visit The Light House, Inc., in Annapolis, Maryland, a local organization using SNAP Employment and Training and other tools to help people in their community break the cycle of homelessness.

The Light House Remembers Speaker Mike Busch

Singer Ashley Forrest, Speaker Mike Busch, and Alderwoman Classy Hoyle served soup and chili at the seventh annual Heritage Baptist Church SOUPer Bowl lunch for The Light House Homeless Prevention Support Center. (Photo by Joshua McKerrow, The Capital Gazette)

The Light House mourns the loss of Speaker Mike Busch, who was a tireless advocate for our neighbors struggling with homelessness. We are profoundly saddened by his passing and deeply grateful for his decades of support and commitment to serving all of his constituents—including those who are too often overlooked. Speaker Busch’s lasting impact on our organization runs deep. We are humbled by the countless times he provided guidance and support for our programs, whether small or large. He was instrumental in helping us expand our services throughout the years, including the construction of our new facility at 10 Hudson Street in 2010 and the development of our Light House Bistro social enterprise in 2017.

We are honored and grateful for all he has given in service to our community, our state, and our most vulnerable neighbors. He will be greatly missed. Our entire Light House community holds the friends, family, and loved ones of Speaker Busch in our hearts.

With deepest gratitude,

Jo Ann Mattson,
Executive Director, The Light House

Light House Pantry Program Awarded a $2,000 Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation Grant

The Light House has been awarded a $2,000 grant from the Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation to help fight hunger in Anne Arundel County.

The Light House Celebrates their 30th Year with a Shelter Makeover April 6th

My Girlfriend’s House, a local nonprofit organization that provides aid and basic needs to those in various states of sheltered living, chose The Light House as their next Shelter Room Makeover Party recipient. The Shelter Room Makeover Party is a design competition that empowers women in the community with a flair for design, while also providing much needed support for local homeless shelters. On April 6th, after months of planning, My Girlfriend’s House will visit The Light House with over 100 volunteers that have been divided into 16 groups. Each group will have 5 hours to makeover their designated spaces with new paint, furniture, decor, and minor building repairs. Spaces being renovated include the entire third floor which has apartments for families and a common space/play area for children, the entire second-floor which has a men’s wing and a women’s wing for individual residents, the first-floor lobby waiting room area, cafeteria, and library. The makeover will begin at 10:00am and will be followed by the big reveal at 3:30pm. During the big reveal, residents are invited back into their spaces to see the results of this daylong renovation, and judges will vote to see who has the best design!

“Our residents, staff, and volunteers are all incredibly excited about this new partnership with My Girlfriend’s House,” says Light House Executive Director, Jo Ann Mattson. “2019 marks our 30th year serving our community, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by sprucing up these spaces that mean the world to our residents and community clients. The Light House is a place of belonging and hope for over 2,000 community members in need each year, and we’re grateful to have My Girlfriend’s House and their generous volunteers as partners in our mission!”

Last year alone, The Light House provided emergency and transitional housing for 150 individuals and 18 families, including 24 children. The organization also served over 38,000 hot meals, distributed over 99,000 pounds of food, and provided homelessness prevention and support services to hundreds of community clients. The Light House’s 10 Hudson Street location is a 24,400 square foot facility serving as a central location for their housing, employment, and support programs and services. The second and third floor shelters 45 individuals and 5 families with up to 20 children. The main floor includes a cafeteria, kitchen, pantry, and fresh market area for their food programs. The main floor also includes their employment resource center for employment training programs and career development services, and their Safe Harbour Resource Center which is a dedicated space that acts as a day center for community clients in need of case management services, free laundry, showers, clothing, and other basic needs.

About My Girlfriend’s House Shelter Room Makeover: My Girlfriend’s House is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower under-served teen girls to develop a positive understanding of self-worth while enhancing their leadership, academic and career skills. As part of their leadership program, they designed the Shelter Room Makeover Party to show the girls what “reality tv” looks like when a community of women come together to empower others in need. The Shelter Room Makeover Party is an outreach effort designed to uplift women and men living in homeless shelters by renovating their spaces and creating an oasis for residents. Every year through student and volunteer efforts, My Girlfriend’s House selects two area shelters to completely renovate and design including purchasing new home décor, painting, buying new furniture, and more. For more information, please visit their website at https://www.shelter-room.mygirlfriendshouse.org/about-us/ or on Facebook at @MyGirlfriendsHouseInc.

Whole Foods Market Annapolis to Share Nickels For Nonprofits with The Light House

Through the end of March 2019, you can support The Light House and the environment when you shop at Whole Foods Market Annapolis. By bringing your own bag, you’ll save on the five-cent bag fee, which you can donate straight to The Light House. Funds raised will support our mission to break the cycle of homelessness in our community. The Light House serves over 2,000 community members in need each year by providing emergency shelter, transitional and supportive housing, homelessness prevention, and related support services to people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness right here in Anne Arundel County. So now through March 31st, be sure to let your Whole Foods Market cashier know you’d like to donate your nickel to The Light House, because every nickel adds up!