Community leaders help the Lighthouse Clarkston settle into their new location. Photo by Jessica Steeley
BY JESSICA STEELEY
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Lighthouse Clarkston celebrated the opening of their new, centralized location at 5850 Dixie Highway with a ribbon cutting last week.
“I hope it gets the word out to all of Oakland County that we’re here, and I just love the Clarkston community, all of Independence Township and Clarkston,” said Lighthouse Clarkston Manager Michele Robinson.
Clarkston is Lighthouse’s second location and has been around 27 years. Their Pontiac location has been in operation for 45 years.
“We’ve been in the community for so long they know when we’re low on stuff and they know the things that we need on a regular basis,” Robinson said of Clarkston. “When you think you’re not going to be able to have a good variety to give out to the client, someone comes in with a donation.”
Township Trustee Andrea Schroeder, who represented the township at the event, said Lighthouse has become fully ingrained in the community.
“They’re a critical part of the community and what we need here, and I think that our community is really good about recognizing and understanding that and helping out, stepping up and donating things,” Schroeder said. “We need help, helping [residents] when they need emergency services, when they’re in crisis and they just need their basic needs met.”
She added Lighthouse being in the community makes it more comfortable for residents in need to reach out.
Robinson explained Lighthouse helps low income families throughout Oakland County, though most of their clients come from Northern Oakland County.
“We usually help anywhere from 171 families to 200 families a month, so that averages about 10 families a day,” she said. They help more families during holiday times, about 15 to 25 families, she added.
“We try and take a client from crisis to stability, and with a lot of our clients, they’re low income and those are the people that we help every month,” Robinson said. “A family that had a bump in the road, maybe had unexpected car repair, medical expenses, something out of the ordinary, we help a lot of those people. Once they get over that bump in the road, they’re able to move on.”
During his remarks at the ribbon cutting, Clarkston Major Steve Percival encouraged residents to donate and hold food drives all year long.
“This is not a holiday problem, this isn’t a Thanksgiving or a Christmas problem, this is a 12-month problem,” Percival said.
Lighthouse helps supply families with food, personal care items and recommendations for financial or legal assistance, among other things.
“We’re kind of like the trouble shooter,” Robinson said. “Somebody will come in, they say they need this or this is going on and we kind of go, okay, what can we do?”