The former Quad City Community Development Center is being remodeled into the Charles W. Spratt Community Center in Venice.
Statistics regarding homelessness in the United States are startling. As many as 3 1/2 million people are homeless in the country every year. Almost a third of them are children.
Contrary to the belief that homelessness is the result of mental illness or substance abuse, it’s often related to tragic life occurrences like the loss of a loved one, divorce, physical disabilities and, very often, post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Rev. David Hale of Anchorbay Lighthouse Family Church in Wood River is intent on making a positive difference for those in this situation. He is heading up an effort to open the Charles W. Spratt Jr. Community Center in Venice to provide help and services to area homeless people.
“Pastor Dave,” as many call him, is working with his congregation and other volunteers to remodel the former Quad City Community Development Center in Venice into a facility providing resources such as education and counseling.
The facility is being named after Charles W. Spratt, the son of a volunteer who fell victim to substance abuse and other misfortunes and passed away as a result. The center’s services are meant to help prevent these types of tragedies.
The center will provide meals to those in need as well as counseling and education services. Classes will be provided on everything from hygiene and housekeeping to how to fill out a job application and interview for a job.
“Homeless people have tremendous challenges in finding work,” Hale points out. “They often have no address and no transportation.”
Clothes also will be available to help those looking for a job present the proper appearance when interviewing.
“The first thing people will do is talk to a counselor here,” Hale explains. There will be 30-day, six-month and yearlong programs, depending on the individual’s needs.
Meals will be provided for people as well as transportation. The facility will have a kitchen and gymnasium for use by its patrons.
The center will have a number of areas, including sections for veterans and seniors. It will contain a lounge and a chapel as well as a place to clean up.
Work on the center by Anchorbay Lighthouse congregation and volunteers has been taking place for the last six months. Cleanup of the facility as well as repair of the heating and plumbing are in progress. Plans call for the center to open on Easter weekend.
Hale says funds are needed for the ongoing work and anyone’s help in donating time or money would be greatly appreciated. Donations can be made by sending checks to NLEC at P.O. Box 473, St. Louis, MO 63166. Additional information can be found on the Anchorbay Lighthouse Family Church Facebook page.
Homeless veterans, women, children, seniors and any who have been made destitute by circumstances in life will benefit from the efforts to open this Venice facility. Hale is asking for the support and prayers of the community to make this effort a reality.