Nonprofit Performance 360 Issue 12

The Lighthouse Model The Lighthouse Community Center is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit ministry of FARRR Foundation and a Trauma Informed Care organization providing radical hospitality. We are open as a day shelter with supportive services, such as a daily hot lunch, access to free clothes, shoes, and blankets, free haircuts, and we provide bicycles to people with transportation needs. We also provide wholesome food boxes twice a month, and various workforce development workshops. Compassionate donors sponsor tokens to be used as spare change in local businesses and restaurants. We also provide a recovery support group, and transitional housing for newly released inmates, U.S. veterans, and women who have been victims of sex trafficking. The Lighthouse is managed and operated by people from all different denominations. We work with anybody who wants to make a difference in our community. Not being under an organized religion or organization allows us to spread our wings to embrace diversity and avoid things that prevent us from working in a united effort. The Lighthouse here in Lynchburg is going on 15 years as a ministry, and 10 years serving.

The model just makes sense. God poured this onto us over the years, and it’s being refined every day, but we can already see there is a great movement. The Lighthouse model is about people working together, and Unity in Our Com- munity was birthed out of it. As we come together in the Unity in Our Community approach, we are able to address all of the issues with all of us putting in our efforts and resources. Lynchburg has the resourc- es we need, but they’re not being utilized properly. We see that people are looking for help in the areas where they don’t know where to go or who to see. As we coordi- nate the resources in our community and then work in a united effort, we are already seeing the changes that are happening in people’s lives. Unity in Our Community celebrates diversity. People are focused on equity, not on equality where everyone has to be the same. We have opened the door for people to choose to be active, and to leave their egos outside of that door and walk through. We have amazing leaders here in Lynchburg. We have been working with

them and finding ways to get to know each other. Without a relationship, not much will happen. The first job of a leadership team is to learn who we are and what we can bring to the table. We are making efforts to bring everyone together on a regular basis. Unity in Our Community is part of that forum.We spend a good two hours in each meeting, and we sometimes stay much longer because we are so intensely involved in what we can do.This is not a program. It is a movement of our community coming together and bringing our leaders, saying, “I have this thing that is sitting here doing nothing. Can we utilize it for this purpose?” Things like that happen because of this united effort. It’s already happening in our community. There are places and people who step up and say, “Yes, we can provide this service for you.” Finny Mathew is a businessperson who has been called into service in many ways, including through his ministry at The Lighthouse Community Center in Lynchburg, Virginia.

32 I Professional Performance

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