When Venesha, a single mother of six, had to move her family out of her sister’s home; she didn’t know where to turn. “We left my sister’s house with the clothes on our backs and our belongings in two small suitcases, not knowing where we would sleep that night,” she says.
But Venesha and her children ended up at the Community Resource Center at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, Minn., a ministry dedicated to helping families and individuals who find themselves homeless, regardless of the circumstances.
With the help of ELCA World Hunger, the center at St. Andrew’s provides guests with emergency assistance through shelter, food baskets, weekly meals, lunches for school children, support groups, career development training and spiritual counseling.
In the first year of operation, the center helped over 750 families, provided over 5,312 shelter beds, served over 10,200 meals, and gave over 26,466 pounds of food to families whose annual incomes average around $10,224, well below the poverty line.
With the help of the Community Resource Center, Venesha’s family was not only able to find a place to call their own, but Venesha herself was inspired to go back to school to finish her business degree.
“I thank God for the friendly people and help provided by St. Andrew’s during our time of crisis,” Venesha says. “It has made a big difference to my family and we will always be grateful!”Download this story as a bulletin insert. Photo credit: St. Andrew's Lutheran Church