BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Editor
As the cold weather rolls in and people are spending more time indoors, that doesn’t ring true for everyone.
Michele Robinson, manager of the Lighthouse Clarkston office, said Lighthouse has seen an overall need in the local community increase in all areas, including calls for help with emergency shelter, housing, food, utility support, and more.
“We have seen an increase in adult-only households due to the fact that adult households did not get an increase in the state food assistance program (bridge card),” said Robinson. “We have also seen a slight increase in adults living in cars, hotels and with other family members. As for the poverty level, we have not asked for proof of income from any of the households we are assisting with pantry food. If someone calls or stops by and says they are in need of food, we will assist them with food from the pantry.”
Robinson added that Lighthouse refers clients who are homeless or who need assistance with paying their rent to their Housing and Shelter Department.
With Thanksgiving next week and Christmas a little more than a month away, Lighthouse will continue to assist families during the upcoming holidays in Clarkston.
For Thanksgiving, Lighthouse is servicing approximately 140 households and 24 senior households with a turkey and a box of non-perishable food, and for Christmas, Lighthouse has an Adopt-a-Family program, helping approximately 140 families with children.
Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church in Clarkston serves as a satellite distribution site for food.
“We have distributed over 850,000 pounds of food since the pandemic began and are targeted to be over one million pounds by the end of the year,” said Calvary Pastor Bob Hegdal. “We have estimated that, through our drive-ups and the other agencies, churches, and individuals that are box recipients, 10,000 families served and 40 percent of that would be individual families. Part of this number comes through individual cars that are picked up for multiple families as well as our partner’s distributions that are similar to ours. We have boxes being distributed at other churches, by individuals, clubs, senior centers, and through the Clarkston schools.”
For more info, contact Lighthouse at 248-920-6000 or stop by Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 5850 Dixie Highway.
“Clarkston and surrounding communities have been extremely supportive during this pandemic,” Robinson said.
PHOTO: Denise Poznanski, a Friday volunteer at Lighthouse Clarkston, gives two thumbs up as she gives her time to the local community. Photo provided