November and December are very busy months at The Light House, and 2019 was no exception. Here are some of the highlights from the last two months:
Our Coats and Clinics in partnership with Macy’s and Maryland Legal Aid was a great success. We distributed more than 400 brand new coats to men, women and children, and Maryland Legal Aid helped 40 people expunge their records, which is a very important barrier remover for both employment and housing.
Maryland Delegate Alice Cain visited The Light House with some of her staff members. They spent several hours touring The Light House and enjoying lunch prepared by our B.E.S.T. students. In a thank you letter to us she said, “We had a wonderful experience seeing the amazing work that you are doing here in Annapolis, supporting and empowering some of our most vulnerable neighbors. I especially appreciated the meaningful conversations with residents and staff, the delicious lunch, and the insights into issues and potential solutions for this community.”
I had the opportunity to participate in a podcast with Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. Bistro chef, Jeremy Cox, and I spoke with the Secretary about the life-changing work The Light House is doing in our community. Jeremy did a beautiful job telling his story and describing his journey from hopelessness to hope. You can find the podcast here: https://www.usda.gov/sonnyside.
We had a grand opening of the Client Choice Pantry with special guests, Phil Gibbs (who funded the project), Delegate Shenika Henson, and Alderman Rhonda Pindell-Charles. That same day volunteers served a special Thanksgiving lunch to our community members, and The Light House distributed more than 300 Thanksgiving baskets and gift cards courtesy of the generous nursing staff at AAMC and others in our community. County Council members Amanda Fiedler and Jessica Haire donated several hours of their time serving lunch and helping out wherever they were needed. Thank you to all of you who participated in this day of thanks!
Ribbon cutting ceremony for The Light House’s new Client Choice Pantry: (L-R) Light House Culinary Assistant/ Pantry Coordinator, Liz Fleury, Light House Director of Culinary Services, Linda Vogler, Delegate Shaneka Henson, Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell Charles, Light House Supporter, Phil Gibbs, Light House Executive Director, Jo Ann Mattson
Thank you to the Hussmans for sponsoring a wonderful evening out to see the Festival of Lights on the Annapolis Jolly Trolley. 22 residents and children attended and had an absolutely wonderful time!
We had several other holiday events including a holiday party and gift wrapping for families and residents with children, and a special brunch prepared by Lisa Sebroski’s family and friends on Christmas day. Lisa also organized a sweater drive and distributed sweaters, hats and gloves to our residents. The generosity of this community really goes off the charts during the holiday season! Thank you to all of you who help with these events!
Lisa Sebroski’s family and friends serving their annual Christmas Brunch to Light House Residents
Kris McNally has rejoined The Light House in a new position as Rapid Rehousing Program Administrator. She has only been in the position for a few weeks, but she has already housed four families and made some great landlord connections. Since late September, 12 families have been kept out of shelter and housed through Rapid Rehousing. Safe Harbour continues to average 35-40 walk ins per day, 80% of which are literally homeless and 20% at imminent risk.
Gabby Jenkins joined the culinary team on December 4th as the Director of Culinary Services, replacing Steve Allbright. She is off to a great start! All students in our current B.E.S.T. class have passed the Serv/safe exam and have been serving donor lunches as well as doing some other catering in the community, including dinner for 70 people at St. Margaret’s Church! Graduation is scheduled for February 7th and we hope to see you all there.
Thank you for being a part of The Light House! We couldn’t do it without you!
With deepest gratitude and warm wishes for a happy, healthy 2020,
Jo Ann Mattson,
Executive Director, The Light House