AUTHORS SHANNON M. CUNNINGHAM
This month, Smith Haughey will be collecting Final Friday Jeans Day donations for Guiding Light, an organization whose mission is to partner with individuals to fulfill their God-given potential through rescue, recovery, and re-engagement in the community. The organization assists men with substance abuse problems to achieve recovery from addiction by providing free, long-term, and faith-based programs that include professional counseling.
The light at the end of the trouble, Guiding Light provides three unique programs to assist community members to get back on their feet. It offers a safe and nurturing environment, developing caring relationships among people who have traveled down similar paths.
The Back-To-Work program provides short-term stay for homeless men who are employed or seeking full-time employment, allowing them to save money as they search for more stable housing. Men in this program receive job coaching, job searching tips, and daily encouragement. They are given access to computers for online job searching and resume construction along with transportation, when needed.
The Iron House program now has three houses that contain 12 apartments, providing 24 rooms to rent out in the form of transitional housing. It is designed primarily for those who have completed the Guiding Light Recovery Program as they are starting over, maintaining employment, staying sober, and adjusting to living within their means. Every Sunday the residents join to discuss their lives and journeys.
The Recovery Program works to help those who desire to start a new way of living. It is a program fully committed to providing men with the appropriate time and space to heal. They introduce members of the program to the rest of the West Michigan recovery community and provide opportunities to engage personal spiritual journeys.
There are a variety of ways to be involved with Guiding Light and its mission. They are always in need of volunteers and donations, and they accept monetary donations or clothing items, personal hygiene products, books, and are currently seeking used bicycles.
All donations can be dropped off at the office located on 255 Division Ave S, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. If you are interested in volunteering, you can contact Kimberley at 616-451-0236 (extension 14) or email her at Kimberley@lifeonthestreet.org. To find out more information about Guiding Light, visit its website at www.lifeonthestreet.org.